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Dependent development under geopolitical reconfiguration: the case of Hungary

Conference contribution
Authors Agnes Gagyi
Tamas Gerocs
Published in 5th EISA European Workshops in International Studies (EWIS), Groeningen
Publication year 2018
Published at Department of Sociology and Work Science
Language en
Subject categories Sociology


Hungary’s geopolitical reorientation since 2010 is often interpreted along the narratives of recent post-Cold War discussions, as an ideological turn from the liberal West towards the illiberal East. Contrary to those narratives, we propose an analysis of the current Hungarian regime in terms of its integration into the reorganization of inter-capitalist alliances and class relations in the interconnected Eurasian and Transatlantic geopolitical space. Our analysis departs from the dismantling of the hegemonic Transatlantic class project in which dominant liberal elites in Eastern Europe used to feel eager to participate. We claim that state-class formation under the Orban regime can be interpreted in terms of a reconfiguration of dependent development. Hungarian national bourgeois classes use this new situation to reproduce their power relations in the current accumulation regime, from a position of junior coalition partner within reconfiguring alliances of capitalist fractions in the interconnected Eurasian and Transatlantic geopolitical space. The regime's ambitions for such partnerships are torn, however, by characteristic contradictions on the level of industrial, financial and labor extraction. We interpret the regime’s attempts towards engagements with Russian and Chinese capital as following from the ambitions and inherent contradictions of this project on the one hand, and from a reorganization of inter-capitalist relations and interests on the side of Russian and Chinese partners on the other. To demonstrate our case we will use the example of Russia’s Rosatom’s mega nuclear investment in Paks II., Hungary.

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