Hungary since 1945: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Hungary since 1945

1st Edition

By Árpád von Klimó


222 pages

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pub: 2018-01-05
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Lying on the political fault line between East and West for the past seventy-five years, the significance of Hungary in geopolitical terms has far outweighed the modest size of its population. This book charts the main events of these tumultuous decades including the 1956 Uprising, the end of Hungarian communism, entry into the European Union and the rise to power of Viktor Orbán and the national-conservative ruling party Fidesz.

Table of Contents


Hungary’s Place in Europe: North, East, Central, or West?

Hungary’s Religious and Ethnic Groups

Hungary’s Neighbors

Hungarian National Territory in Flux

Hungary since 1945: Four Central Questions

1: 1956 – Key Event in Hungarian Postwar History

1956 and Hungary’s Changeover to Democracy in 1989

What Happened in Autumn of 1956?

Pre-History: Stalinism with a Hungarian Stamp

1956 and Aftermath: Reform and Resignation in the Single-Party Dictatorship

2: The Hungarian State: Caesuras and Continuity

The Constitution and Constitutionality

The Parliament

The Parties

The Voting Laws and Elections

3: Foreign Policy: From World War II to the European Union

"Hitler’s Last Ally"

Absorption into the Soviet System

1956 – Diplomatic Background and Context

The Kádár Era: Loyalty to Moscow and Indepence from Moscow

"Second Cold War" and the Kádár System in Crisis (1979-1989)

Collapse of Soviet Hegemony and Hungary’s Western Integration

4: From Capitalism to the Planned Economy and Back Again: Economic and Social Policy 1945-1989

Long-term Developments until the End of World War II

Crisis and Recovery: The Postwar Years (1945-1948)

The Planned Economy: Successes and Crises

Reforms and Constants during the Socialist Period

Hungarian Social Policy in European Comparison – An Overview

Positive and Negative Social Policy: The Social-Political Measures of Hungarian Stalinism (1949-1956)

Social Policy as "Social Contract" under Kádár (1957-1989)

Capitalism, crises and Social Policy since 1989

5: Social Structures and Mobility

Long-term Demographic Developments

The Imperfect Capitalist Society

The Socialist Society

Social Mobility and Education

Limits, Contradictions, and the Dissolution of Socialist Society

Hungary Society since 1989

6: Lifestyles in Transition

Families and Gender in the 1950s

A Socialist Consumer Society? "Goulash Communism," "Refrigerator Communism," Trips to the West, and Vacation Homes

Cultural upheavals in the 1960s: Fashion, the Beat Movement, and Soccer

7: Ethnic Homogenization and Minority Policy Within Hungary and Neighboring States

Minority Policy Within Hungary and Beyond Its Borders

From Multi-National State to a Homogeneous Nation with National Minorities

Development of the Rights of Nationalities in Hungary since 1945

Minority Policy in the Neighboring States: Nationalistic Conflicts and Hopes for Their Resolution in a Unified Europe

Hungarians inside and outside the European Union – foreigners in Hungary

8: Churches and Religion

The Perspective from Below: Religiosity in Hungarian Society

The View from Above: The Difficult Relationship between the Ecclesiastical Elite and Politics since 1945

Religion in Hungary since 1989

9: Hungarian politics since 1989

Change of System 1988-1990 and Ensuing Events

1956 and 1989: The Importance of Memory

Features of Political Culture in the 1990s

From EU membership to Orbán’s "Hungarian Revolution" of 2010

Selected Bibliography


About the Author

Árpád von Klimó is at the Catholic University of America and has carried out extensive research in different fields of nineteenth- and twentieth-century European history, mostly on Hungary, Italy and Germany.

About the Series

Routledge Histories of Central and Eastern Europe

The nations of Central and Eastern Europe experienced a time of momentous change in the period following the Second World War. The vast majority were subject to Communism and central planning while events such as the Hungarian uprising and Prague Spring stood out as key watershed moments against a distinct social, cultural and political backcloth. With the fall of the Berlin Wall, German reunification and the break-up of the Soviet Union, changes from the 1990s onwards have also been momentous with countries adjusting to various capitalist realities. The volumes in this series will help shine a light on the experiences of this key geopolitical zone with many lessons to be learned for the future.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General
HISTORY / Europe / Eastern
HISTORY / Europe / Russia & the Former Soviet Union
HISTORY / Europe / Austria & Hungary
POLITICAL SCIENCE / World / Russian & Former Soviet Union