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Hungarian City-level Politics Entrapped in Multi-level Governance: The Case of Pécs, European Capital of Culture 2010

Authors:

Abstract

The paper presents some major outcomes of a four-year project financed by the Hungarian Scientific Research Fund (OTKA) focusing on multi-level governance taking the unique case of Hungary’s first ‘European Capital of Culture’ (ECoC) city from 2010. It critically investigates the impact of the ECoC program on how such a former coal- and uranium-mining city with a two-thousand-year-old history of culture attempted to revisit urbanity in general, and on urban politics and political culture in particular, with regard to experimenting with new forms and methods of civic engagement and strategic long-term planning. The paper gives an analysis of Hungarian political culture in transition both from a political science perspective and a political discourse-related point of view. The authors intend to look at how present-day urban politics still struggles with the heritage of the political past (especially that of the Socialist era) and the trends and ‘requirements’ of the European Union when it comes to policy-making about long-term planning and development, which is supposed to encourage public involvement. While it reveals the most important factors of ‘mutual distrust’ among stakeholders, providing evidence also from the discursive space, it presents the difficulties of transformation of the ‘political mindset’ both on national and city levels.
Southern Political Science Association
85
th
Annual Conference
January 9-11, 2014
New Orleans, USA
Hungarian City-level Politics Entrapped in Multi-level
Governance: The Case of Pécs, European Capital of Culture
2010
István Tarrósy,
1
László I. Komlósi,
2
Ágnes Simon
3
Abstract
The paper presents some major outcomes of a four-year project
financed by the Hungarian Scientific Research Fund (OTKA) focusing
on multi-level governance taking the unique case of Hungary’s first
‘European Capital of Culture’ (ECoC) city from 2010. It critically
investigates the impact of the ECoC program on how such a former
coal- and uranium-mining city with a two-thousand-year-old history
of culture attempted to revisit urbanity in general, and on urban
politics and political culture in particular, with regard to
experimenting with new forms and methods of civic engagement
and strategic long-term planning. The paper gives an analysis of
Hungarian political culture in transition both from a political science
perspective and a political discourse-related point of view. The
authors intend to look at how present-day urban politics still
struggles with the heritage of the political past (especially that of
the Socialist era) and the trends and ‘requirements’ of the European
Union when it comes to policy-making about long-term planning and
development, which is supposed to encourage public involvement.
While it reveals the most important factors of ‘mutual distrust’
among stakeholders, providing evidence also from the discursive
space, it presents the difficulties of transformation of the ‘political
mindset’ both on national and city levels.
1
Corresponding Author, Assistant Professor, PhD, Department of Political Science
and International Studies, University of Pécs, tarrosy.istvan@pte.hu
2
Professor, Habil. PhD, Institute of English Studies, University of Pécs and
Constantine the Philosopher University Nitra
3
PhD student, Political Science Program, Interdisciplinary Doctoral School,
University of Pécs
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