Managing the unemployment in Hungary

Judit Csoba

With the transition to market economy and after the economy was rebuilt on new foundations, the unfavourable accompanying symptoms – especially unemployment – also had to be addressed. The restructuring and continuous expansion of the system of institutions and instruments devoted to controlling unemployment followed the Western European model in many ways by this time, which had already amassed decades of experience; however, at the same time it was unable to break with its own traditions. The established system of labour market institutions operates in a very centralized way both with respect to its structure and its procedures, and non-state players either do not appear in the system at all or play only a very small role.

Projects’ Social Effects: The Project Orientated Society

Ibolya Czibere

The new organisational strategy, Project Orientated Management was presented in 1990 in Vienna opening the third developmental stage of project management knowledge. This strategy is based on a fundamental coherence stating that every project functions as a temporary organisation and, therefore, offers strategic options for the usual organisational structures (with the incorporation of projects into the organisational structures, temporary organisations are created that disappear as soon as their individual task is done). This approach dramatically increases the importance of projects regardless of the previously known coherence that states a project created for various aims in public, non-profit and industrial sectors can heavily improve a company’s efficiency and its chances of survival as well. These processes result in power shifts in society and change the forms of knowledge utilization.

Social Conflicts in the 21st Century – the Shadows of Global Environmental Change

Karl Bruckmeier

The theme of this symposium, “Cultural Heritage and the Innovations of the Humanities in the 21st Century” includes difficult aspects as that of “Social Conflicts in the 21st Century – the Shadows of Global Environmental Change” for which it is not obvious what they include in terms of cultural heritage and humanities. The question, how to deal with new social conflicts can be answered in this perspective of cultural heritage and the new humanities as one that requires new ways of dealing with cultural heritage and innovativeinter- and transdisciplinary thinking; such thinking is spreading in the humanities, in the social and natural sciences, and in the everyday sphere of lifeworld.

Seeking Diamond, But Finding Moissanite: A Case Study On Democratic Political Culture In Contemporary Hungary

Zoltán Berényi

Although since 1990 the indispensable institutional requirements of democracy have been in place in Hungary, studies revealed that Hungarian society in the past 25 years failed to gain sufficiently strong attachment to the norms and values a well functioning democracy requires. Other studies also indicated that these signs, indicating serious shortcomings in democratic political socialization are especially evident in the young generation. In looking for an explanation of this troubling phenomenon political scientists theorised that the low adherence to these values could be the consequence of citizens' low level of activity in voluntary organizations. Could active participation in a voluntary organization reduce the deficits in democratic political socialization?

In order to answer this question, this paper set out to examine to what extent the shortcomings of democratic political socialization could be detected among members of a student association (‘Depolit’) at the University of Debrecen, Hungary.

Workfare with a human face?

Ildikó Asztalos Morell

Public work is currently the major national tool for the reintegration of the long-term unemployed into the world of labour in Hungary. As a result of the expansion of resources the government allotted to facilitate public work employment, labour statistics improved substantially. Nonetheless, public labour as an institution is objected to intense criticism. Since employment as public worker is not bound to citizenship rights, local municipalities have a large degree of discretion about selecting whom they hire. Criticism most often focuses on employment discrimination. In contrast, this research takes a progressive municipality, with anti-discriminatory profile as an example, where public work was adapted as a welfare, rather than purely workfare praxis. Uszka, a rural small-sized municipality, is characterized by high ethnified unemployment. Its politicians and administrators adapted varied strategies to help combat poverty and unemployment. The paper explores the place of public work in the context of social policy instruments and poverty reduction strategies applied and the degrees of freedom and limitations municipalities have in adapting state instruments.

Social Action and the Power of the Irrational


At the intersection point of social and cultural anthropology, comparative politics and classical political philosophy we can situate a particularly important aspect of political modernism, the inspiration behind and effect mechanism of a certain irrationalism that is extended into the heart of the modern idea of political action and power. This modern reappearance of irrationality is not without precedents and historical background, but it only became a dominant feature of the modern condition. Modernity, on the one hand, is a pure fantasy world, with no connection to reality; even more, it is based on a deliberate escape from and rejection of reality that nevertheless is projected as being ‘more real’ than reality itself. However, on the other hand, alternating with utopian delusions it always manifested a very subtle receptivity, a keen apprehension of rational thinking; so much so that actual according to the modern phantasy world also pretends to be rational action itself. The apparent contradiction can be resolved by pointing out that both these are rooted in irrationality, in the alienation from existing bonds or the real, expressed by the incommensurable.