About me

I’m an independent researcher and a critical geographer, historian of science and global historian. My research is in the geographies of knowledge, world-systems analysis, and the histories of geography, colonialism and racism, with a focus on the historical relations between Eastern Europe and the Global South or the Third World.

I am currently working on two books. One for Cambridge University Press with James Mark and Péter Apor about the global histories of Hungarian relations to colonialism and anti-colonialism in the long 20th century, entitled “Hungary Between the Colonial and Anti-Colonial Worlds”. The other is my individual book project based on my doctoral research about the global histories of the “quantitative revolution” in geography.

I founded the social media group Decolonizing Eastern Europe (Facebook, Twitter).

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Tracing the Global History of the Quantitative Revolution: The Transnational History of Central Place Theory

My book project is about the global histories of the “quantitative revolution” in geography. The quantitative revolution has been an epochal textbook chapter in geography’s canonical history, when the discipline transformed into a rigorous social science backed by predictive mathematical methods in the early Cold War. An iconic scientific concept of this quantitative movement, most notably related to Walter Christaller (1933) and August Lösch (1939), was central place theory (CPT). With the globalization of the quantitative revolution after its emergence from the Second World War in the United States, location theories such as CPT became widespread in urban and regional planning across the world. How did quantitative spatial analysis and planning develop in different parts of the world? In what different geographical contexts were location theories like CPT read, reinterpreted, applied, and mobilized? How were these often very different contexts connected? This book offers to fill this significant gap in geography’s twentieth century global history by deconstructing the mainstream Anglo-American narrative and tracing the quantitative revolution through the circulation and local applications of CPT in the “Second” and “Third” worlds and into the pre-Cold War era.

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Magyarország Globálban: Elfeledett Kapcsolataink Ghánával

Ghána 1957-ben elsőként vált független szubszaharai afrikai országgá, méghozzá a legígéretesebbek egyikévé. Azonban Európa- és nyugatközpontú történelmi emlékezetünk elfeledtette velünk, hogy nekünk magyaroknak milyen fontos szerepünk is volt Ghána fejlődésében. Vajon hogyan érthetjük meg Magyarország globális történelmét a dekolonizáció és a gyarmati múltú Ghána felől nézve?

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János Fekete in Ghana

After President Nkrumah’s visit to Ghana in 1961, the president requested a wide range of expertise and investment projects from Hungary. Among them was the secret mission of János Fekete as a financial adviser in the summer of 1962 to work out currency management solutions for Ghana, which was heavily dependent on world market prices and loans from Western countries (USA, UK).

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Fekete János Ghánában

Nkrumah ghánai elnök 1961-es látogatása után sokféle szakértői és beruházási megbízást kért Magyarországtól. Közéjük tartozott 1962 nyarán Fekete János titkos pénzügyi tanácsadói kiküldetése, hogy a nyugati országok hiteleitől (USA, Egyesült Királyság) és a világpiaci áraktól erősen függő Ghánának valutagazdálkodási megoldásokat dolgozzon ki.

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Erdei Ferenc Afrikában

Erdei Ferenc a Hazafias Népfront Országos Tanácsának főtitkáraként és az országgyűlés mezőgazdasági bizottságának elnökeként vezette azt az 1964-es magyar parlamenti delegációt, amely Mali és Guinea mellett Ghánába is ellátogatott. Ez volt az első magyar parlamenti delegáció Ghánában. Erről is szót ejtek majd, amikor a pécsi Afrika-hét első napján egy órán át beszélek a magyar-ghánai kapcsolatainkról a globális történetírás megközelítésében.

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Decolonizing the City? Traversing Urbanscapes in the World-Systemic Transperipheral Histories between Socialist Hungary and the Global South

Budapest. Lumumba Street. Nehru Coast. Havana Housing Estate. Places we pass, places from the past. Or are they past? After 1989, the ‘return to Europe’ resulted in the neoliberal ‘whitening out’ of the Hungarian memories of socialist era anti-colonial solidarities to the Third World. Recent political discourse has been largely Westcentric and focused on colonial memory, collections and monuments. Against Westcentrism and Eurowhite ignorance, we need a world-systemic approach to decipher the ‘transperipheral’ relations within the Hungarian semiperipheral world-systemic integration to global capitalism.

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Spatializing Orbán’s ‘Colonial Missionarism’: The Global Geographies of Religion and Securitization in the ‘Colonial Turn’ of Hungarian Political Disourse

This chapter looks at the global geographies of the ‘colonial turn’ in the Orbán governments’ post-2010 political discourse in Hungary from the perspective of religion and securitization. After 2010, ‘Central Europe’ became demarcated by government discourse as a “non-colonizer” and “ethnically homogeneous” region from the “colonizer”, multicultural/racial and therefore decadent West. Declared as a “Christian democracy”, the Hungarian “illiberal” state fused the preservation of a Central European ‘pure’ religious identity with Eurocentric, colonial and post-imperial arguments after the 2015 refugee crisis. The chapter elucidates the complex ‘scalar political economy’ behind how the local ideology of “Christian freedom” is contradictingly embedded in Hungary’s “global struggle against Christian persecution” to “stop migration” as a form of new ‘colonial missionarism’.

Colonia Hungaria: Hungarian Settlers and Colonial Imaginaries in Latin America in the Interwar Era

My paper explores competing visions of establishing a Hungarian colony in the context of Latin American Hungarian settlers in the interwar era. I introduce my concept of “transcoloniality” to traverse interconnected Eastern European and South American colonial contexts, and explore the trajectories of Hungarian colonialism through my concept “Colonial Hungaria.”

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The ‘Ghana Job’: Opening Semiperipheral Hungary to the Postcolonial World

This paper follows a world-systemic and decolonial approach to investigate Hungarian semiperipheral positioning strategies in global colonial history by looking at the interactions and converging interests of Hungary and Ghana in the early 1960s. The paper focuses on József Bognár, a hugely important but forgotten political figure in socialist era Hungarian economics and foreign economic policy-making. In 1963, Bognár founded a government think tank, the Centre for AfroAsian Research (CAAR) at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (renamed in 1973 as the Institute for World Economy). The institute evolved out of Bognár’s “Ghana job”: Ghanaian president Kwame Nkrumah, on the occasion of his Eastern European round-trip in 1961, asked Bognár to develop Ghana’s First Seven-Year Plan.