A Case of State Controlled Westernization. Foreign Impacts in the Hungarian Social Sciences (1945–2015)

  • Victor Karady
  • Peter Tibor Nagy
Part of the Socio-Historical Studies of the Social and Human Sciences book series (SHSSHS)


This study is an overview of the cultural modernization of Hungary up to the present across changing political regimes via the relationship the social sciences, born in the late nineteenth century, have maintained with their Western models and counterparts. The main indicators mobilized had to do with state policies of intellectual exchange over the borders, the position of modern foreign languages in the educational system, linguistic orientations and competences in the intellectual professions, trends of student peregrinations and scholarly contacts with the outside world, and the place of foreign books accessible to social scientists. Embedded in a historical narrative, the study stresses the importance of the communist break in the institutional continuity of several social science disciplines, the ultimate failure – starting in the 1960s – of earlier enforced Soviet intellectual colonization and the triumph of Westernization after the fall of communism in 1989. Focusing on the post 1989 situation, survey data on linguistic skills and studies abroad of young students and graduates highlight recent trends in the Western orientation of upcoming scholarly clienteles. The study closes with a review of the most recent government policies tainted by xenophobia and retrograde nationalism and running against earlier trends of Europeanization.


Social sciences Regime changes in Hungary Internationalization Europeanization Westernization Sovietization Language tuition Liberal nation state Student migrations East-West ferry Book market Nazification Shoah Educational mobility Transnational history Doctoral schools Academic candidates Academic doctors aspirantura Cultural policies Academic productivity Latin English German French Emigration of scholars Jews Germans Feminization (of social and other disciplines) Hungarian Academy of Sciences Books (translations, foreign and locally published) 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Victor Karady
    • 1
  • Peter Tibor Nagy
    • 2
  1. 1.History DepartmentCEU (Central European University)BudapestHungary
  2. 2.John Wesley CollegeBudapestHungary

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