Hungary Between the Colonial and Anti-colonial worlds

After a year of preparation, I finally signed a contract with Cambridge University Press to co-author with James Mark and Péter Apor our book, tentatively titled “Hungary between the Colonial and Anti-Colonial Worlds”.

The book seeks to situate Hungary within the global histories of colonialism, decolonisation and alternative world-making, particularly ‘between peripheries’ – in the semiperiphery of the world-system. It argues that the Cold War socialist internationalism, which connected Eastern Europe to global peripheries should be seen as part of this long-term history. The book explores why, despite relevant global linkages in the past, historians of the region have preferred nationalist and Eurocentric approaches, and why the region’s connections to histories of Empires and their ends have until recently been forgotten. It raises the following questions:

Why is there a lack of historicizing coloniality and decolonial critique in Hungary? How can Hungary contribute to or be positioned within global decolonisation debates and, regionally, in decolonising Eastern Europe? And, in turn, how may our common understandings of global colonial history and decolonialism need to be reconfigured if we consider Hungary?

Tentative Outline

Introduction: Hungary in Global Colonialisms

Chapter 1: Between Imperial Centre and European Periphery: The Formation of Hungarian Nationalism in the Age of Empire, 1848–1918

Chapter 2: Post-Imperial Hungary: Loss, Emigration and Race, 1919–1945

Chapter 3: Socialist Anti-Colonialism

Chapter 4: Decolonisation, Internationalism and the Future of Hungarian Socialism

Chapter 5: Anti-Communist Anti-Colonialism

Chapter 6: The “Return to Europe” and Postsocialist Neoliberalism, 1970s-2000s

Chapter 7: ‘We Will Not be a Colony’: Colonial Discourse and the Rise of New Populist Authoritarianism

Epilogue: Decolonising the Non-Colonisers?