Western Impacts and Transfers in Hungarian Culture and Social Sciences in the 1970s and 1980s


(Nr. 125374) supported by the OTKA/NKFIH, 2017-2021
Principal Investigator: Róbert Takács


The project focuses on the international relations of Hungarian culture, art, social science and ideology in the 1970s and 1980s. The de-Stalinization period after 1953 opened up the channels of cultural and scientific import and transfers which led to a significant amount of available Western content in Hungarian publicity and revitalizing cultural and scientific networks. In spite of the ideological concerns and the prevailing control mechanisms this process had an effect both on cultural consumption and cultural politics.

The Helsinki Final Act created new frames for the cold war confrontation which also pervaded the cultural and scientific sphere. Its most debated terrain was human rights and the third basket with the issues relating freedom of movement of people, information and cultural goods. Beyond analyzing this confrontation, the project aims to sum up the extent and tendencies of cultural and scientific openness – from the fields of cinema, theatre, literature and arts to social sciences, especially sociology, history, economy and political science. It also examines how the tendencies of the 1980s – growing financial pressure on the cultural sphere, challenges of the Kadarian policy for raising the standard of living, the new technologies or the eroding consent of the party and the intellectuals etc. – affected East-West cultural exchange.




The Semi-Permeable Iron Curtain
International online conference
1st July, 2021


Openness and Closedness – Culture and Science in Hungary and the Soviet Bloc after Helsinki
International Scientific Conference
12th June, 2019