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Melegh Attila’s book launch, The Migration Turn and Eastern Europe

The former director of Karl Polanyi Research Center for Global Social Studies and Associate Professor at the Corvinus University of Budapest, and LeftEast author Attila Melegh recently published the book The Migration Turn and Eastern Europe. A Global Historical Sociological Analysis. Using Marxist and Polanyian frameworks, this book examines the structural and discursive transformation that can explain the polarization of migration debates and within the rise of nationalist anti-migrant discourses in Europe with a special attention to Eastern Europe and Hungary. It goes beyond the mainstream explanations of these phenomena that uses nationalist propaganda as causal factors and instead argues that the rise of anti-immigration currents cannot be understood without a dialectical and historical analysis of the material and discursive transformations, most importantly marketization and related reification. Drawing from thinkers such as Lukács, Polanyi, and Gramsci as well as diverse empirical sources including demographic studies, historical modelling, and discourse analyses, Migration Turn and Eastern Europe is a unique and rigorous study of one of the most pressing and puzzling political and sociological questions of our time.

A book launch was hosted by the Polanyi Center on April 14. Other participants of the discussion were Beáta Nagy (Professor of Sociology at the Corvinus University of Budapest), Chris Hann (Emeritus Director, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology), József Böröcz (Professor of Sociology at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey), Petra Ezzedine (Social Anthropologist and an Assistant Professor at the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology), Prem Kumar Rajaram ( Professor of Sociology and Social Anthropology at Central European University), Salvatore Engel-Di Mauro (Professor at and Chair of the Geography Department and Environmental Studies of SUNY New Paltz)