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The political economy of the post-socialist mortality crisis

Surviving and dying are life chances in the most profound sense, a truism that the corona pandemic has powerfully underpinned. Already before the pandemic hit, the declining life expectancy in deindustrialized, rustbelt areas and the accompanying deepening of health inequalities have been signaling the existential crisis of contemporary economic arrangements. Recent research by Ann Case […]

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COVID-19 Crisis in Hungarian Cultural Production – Vulnerability and deepening authoritarian control

Note from LeftEast editors: The article is complemented with the reproductions of the paintings of Rita Süveges. In her works, she inquires the possibilities of the representation of the capitalocene and the nature transformed by capital and labor. She is a member of xtro realm, an artist group, which is dealing with new-realist and ecological […]

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All posts Interviews

Interview with Wolfgang Streeck: “I definitely prefer a cooperative over an empire”

Note from LeftEast editors: This interview was originally published in Mérce, a left-wing news site in Hungary. It was conducted via e-mail and published on the occasion of Merkel’s departure from power, and to provide context for Hungary’s and Poland’s initial veto on the EU COVID19 recovery package. NL: For many Hungarians Germany is a […]

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All posts FeminEasts

New Solidarity Initiatives as an Important Ground for Building Transformative Politics: a conversation on Solidarity Economy Praxis in Hungary

LeftEast’s Mariya Ivancheva interviews Zsófia Ádám and Andrea Czerván of the Solidarity Economy Center in Budapest: “Our ultimate goal is to support the growth of a solidarity economy ecosystem, by which we mean a network of economic initiatives – with as few resources leaking out as possible and fulfilling as many needs as possible – that prioritizes the reproduction of life and the well-being of communities over profit, and operates in a socially and ecologically sustainable, democratic way.”

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The Helpers of the Afghan Park

Text and photos by Szilárd Kalmár, translated by Arnold Velansits. First published in Mérce. In the spring of 2015, a wave of refugees reached Europe of a size that had not been seen before. The general public – including us – was not informed, or barely were, about this situation and only realized what we […]

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The Rise of Heteronomous Academia on the EU’s Borderlands

ith the very recent founding of a “streamlined” Family Research Centre, compatible with the government’s political agenda, within the Academy’s Institute of Sociology, heteronomy in academe has reached a new peak. In a context where “family research” serves as a governmental counter-discourse par excellence to bash “gender studies” (generally associated with liberalism, multiculturalism, relativism and the CEU), the foundation of a “family research centre” within the Hungarian Academy of Sciences is not only ethically questionable; it is also a clear sign of governmental policies permeating the consecrated realms of science. The Centre’s official credo propagating “value-neutral” science on its homepage is anything but neutral, given that its creation is inseparable from an evidently over-politicised context. Therefore, “value-neutrality” should be better understood as a justificatory ideology for official sociology that aims “not to realise itself as a science but to realise an official image of science”.

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Fighting Back against Hungary’s Ban on Legal Gender Recognition: An Interview with Tina Kolos Orban (Transvanilla Transgender Association)

Hungary’s new law “seems to be part of the broader war of the government on gender. Defining sex at birth as an unchangeable characteristic is part of that discourse and is an obvious attack on the right of trans and intersex people in Hungary. The situation for trans people was getting worse in the past years but we did not experienced targeted attacks before this law proposal.”

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VIDEO – Paul Stubbs: “Authoritarian Neoliberalism, Radical Conservatism and Social Policy in Europe “

A lecture given by Paul Stubbs to the Open Learning Initiative of the Central European University on the 16th of May looking at the various ways through which social policy as a technical discipline ignores political economy. “The articulation of modes of governmentality that combine heteronormative familialism, repatriarchialization, nationalism, ethnicized demographic renewal and anti‐immigrant sentiments […]

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Rare Treat: Recent Documentary on György Lukács Can Be Viewed Online Freely Until 03 May 2020

This Sunday (3 May), the “Georg” documentary, on György Lukács – his life, work, archives and contemporary significance – can be watched free of charge. Embedded link and password are inside the post.

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The Enduring Racialization of the Roma and the Banality of Evil

The racialization/inferiorization of Roma has been normalized over centuries and supported by social structures. Therefore, instead of organizing public protest against such statements, we rather tacitly accept and even mainstream these violent discourses. In this sense, the racialization of Roma is not a novelty. However, the way it is framed in illiberal political discourse excludes any other point of view, even if comes from the independent judiciary.