JMSC Graduate Reports for HK Magazine
10 February 2011
Feb 18: JMSC Seminar: András Bozóki – European Politics, Media and the Public Sphere
14 February 2011

Feb 21: Public Lecture: András Bozóki – Human Rights Movements in Eastern Europe

András Bozóki, Professor of Political Science at the Central European University and former Minister of Culture of the Republic of Hungary, will lecture on: Human Rights Movements in Post-Communist Democratisation: The Case of East Central Europe


Abstract: Twenty years ago, East Central European countries witnessed a rapid, nonviolent, democratic transition process which ended communist one-party rule in that part of Europe.

Many analysts emphasize the role of external factors in this process such as the “Gorbachev factor”, the “Stars’ Wars” policy of US President Ronald Reagan and/or the importance of the economic crisis in the Soviet bloc.

However, internal factors played at least the same role in terms of their importance.

This talk will compare the Polish Solidarity movement with the Czech human rights activists and Hungarian dissident intellectuals.

Despite the huge differences, the idea of human rights played a pivotal role in all three countries.

It contributed to the consciousness raising of opposition movements and helped them to find their democratic identity.

The speaker: András Bozóki is Professor of Political Science at the Central European University (CEU) in Budapest, Hungary. He was visiting professor at Columbia University in New York (2004, 2009) and at Bologna University (2008). He has also taught at Eötvös Loránd University in Hungary from 1983 to present, and at Smith College and Mount Holyoke College in the US and at Nottingham University in Britain.

He served as President of the Hungarian Political Science Association and as Minister of Culture in the socialist-liberal coalition government of Hungary from 2005-2006.

His research interests include  comparative politics (post-communist democratisation, East Central European politics and the European Union), and theories of political change. He has published 35 books, including Confrontation and Consensus: Strategies for Democratization (Savaria UP, 1995), Post-Communist Transition: Emerging Pluralism in Hungary (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1992) and Democratic Legitimacy in Post-Communist Societies (Budapest – Tübingen: T-Twins, 1994). He served as the associate editor of Lawful Revolution in Hungary, 1989-94 (Boulder: Social Science Monographs and Columbia University Press, 1995). He co-authored a book, Migrants, Minorities, Belonging, and Citizenship (Bergen: BRIC, 2004).

He has also undertaken research in elite theory, the social role of intellectuals, symbolic politics, the interaction between political and cultural elites, and cultural policy making.

He edited a book on Intellectuals and Politics in Central Europe (Budapest – New York: CEU Press, 1999), and edited the minutes, documents and analyses of the Hungarian Roundtable Talks (that led to the democratic breakthrough), an eight-volume series in political history, entitled, The ‘Script’ of the Regime Change: The Roundtable Talks in 1989 (Budapest: Magvető, 1999-2000, in Hungarian).

He also edited The Roundtable Talks of 1989: The Genesis of Hungarian Democracy (Budapest – New York: CEU Press, 2002), and co-edited with John Ishiyama the Communist Successor Parties in East Central Europe (Armonk, NY – London: M. E. Sharpe, 2002).

András Bozóki has lectured at several universities and international conferences. He has been a research fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study (Wissenschaftskolleg) in Berlin, Germany, the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study (NIAS) in Wassenaar; the Sussex Institute for European Studies in Brighton, UK; the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna, Austria, and at the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA). He was a Jean Monnet Fellow at the European University Institute (EUI) in Florence, Italy.