Balázs Trencsényi

Balázs Trencsényi, Ph.D., is Associate Professor at the Department of History, CEU. His research focuses on the comparative history of political thought in East Central Europe and the history of historiography. He is co-director of Pasts, Inc., Center for Historical Studies at CEU and Associate Editor of the periodical East Central Europe (Brill). He was a Junior Visiting Fellow at IWM Vienna and at Collegium Budapest, a Andrew W. Mellon-Fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin and a Junior Visiting Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study Sofia. He is the author of the monograph, The Politics of ‘National Character’: A Study in Interwar East European Thought (Routledge 2012), as well as co-editor of Discourses of Collective Identity in Central and Southeast Europe (1775–1945) (CEU Press 2006-7); Narratives Unbound: Historical Studies in Post-Communist Eastern Europe (CEU Press 2007); Whose Love of Which Country? Composite States, National Histories and Patriotic Discourses in Early Modern East Central Europe (Brill 2010); and Hungary and Romania beyond National Narratives: Comparisons and Entanglements (Peter Lang 2013).

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From Goulash-Communism to Goulash-Authoritarianism?

An election poster of Viktor Orban, leader of Hungarian opposition party Fidesz, is reflected in a puddle of water in central Budapest
The present situation in Hungary is a challenge for the model that has shaped the political life of Western Europe since WWII. The way the European Union handles the Hungarian issue has a significance that reaches well beyond the individual case of a minor East Central European state and might become an indicator of the direction European political culture will take in the decades to come.
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Peasants Into Bulgarians or the Other Way Round: The Discourse of National Psychology

The question of Bulgarian national character was always bound to the problem of statehood. This is mainly due to the fact that, as the prominent Bulgarian intellectual historian, Ivan Elenkov, put it, the state was perceived as "the only source of modernizatory initiative, the only means to catch up with the structures of modernity," and it also constituted the principal horizon of expectations concerning the future. Furthermore, the state-centeredness of the political culture also explains the relative compactness of the intelligentsia in the first decades of independent Bulgaria. This feature entailed that the cultural elite did not become polarized according to alternative traditions, which led to a constant oscillation between different political and meta-political positions....
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