About

Hungarian Spectrum features daily analyses of news from Hungary—political, economic, and cultural. Its editor and primary pundit is Eva S. Balogh, who formerly taught East European history at Yale University. Guest contributors include Kim Lane Scheppele, professor of sociology and international affairs at Princeton University; Charles Gati, senior research professor of European and Eurasian studies at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies; Randolph L. Braham, distinguished professor emeritus of political science and director of the Rosenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York; and Janos Kornai, professor of economics emeritus at Harvard University and Corvinus University of Budapest.

The site, which is archived at the Library of Congress, is recognized by diplomats, journalists, scholars, and representatives of non-governmental organizations as a source of thoughtful analysis and high-level discussion of contemporary Hungarian affairs.

146 comments

  1. Hello Eva, Have you read anything recently about the Hungarian Goverment making it easier for Americans to obtain citizenship? I inquired if I was eligible through Jus sanguinis or through the simplified process. I was informed that I would be eligible via Jus sanguinis as long as I could show my bloodline to my granfather and did not have to show when he left Hungary. Also, they will accept all documents to be submitted in English without official Hungarian translations. Thank you for your time. Todd

  2. Hello Mrs Balogh,
    First, I’d like to thank you for this blog, since it gives us the opportunity to have broader info about Hungarian politics, economy and society. I’ve learnt a lot from this wonderful blog.
    I have a question for you, and your help about it means a lot to me.
    Currently, I’m a graduate student in İstanbul in subject of International Political Economy. The subject topic of my thesis is ‘The Political Economy of Conservatism: Comparision of Turkey, Hungary and Poland’, I’d appreciate if you could suggest some reliable sources (I could especially use some sources which have a historical perspective) about the economic policies in Hungary (preferably about agricultural policies and informal sector, but other topics are surely welcomed :)).
    You can also reach me via e-mail,
    Thanks from now on.

  3. Dear Éva S. Balogh
    Your website and Richard Field’s Budapest Beacon are the two indispensible English-language online sources of political news in Hungary. They may not be strictly impartial but wayward governments get the watchdogs they deserve. It is fortunate that we have them.
    Regards
    Christopher Maddock

  4. Is there anyone connecting to this blog that knows any information about the “false father law” concerning birth records/certificates in Hungary? Apparently there are three circumstances where it is allowed to put an imaginary name for paternity? Are the clerks leniant on this? Also researching information on domestic abuse and violence against women in Hungary if you have any insights as to why someone might not want to be listed as father or why a mother would fear listing a partner as father? Is it required to list a father on a Hungarian birth registration?
    Thank you, Geralyn

  5. My name is Hyunju Lee and I am a writer at a radio station in Busan, South Korea, 90.5 BeFM (Busan English FM / http://www.befm.or.kr).
    BEFM is the one and only English radio broadcasting station in Busan and we cater to English speaking foreign listeners and Koreans.
    I am requesting an interview to speak to you about Hungary protest.

    We hope to connect with you and conduct the interview on November 20th 08:15 am in Korea time.
    We would like to interview with you via phone. It will be air live. It will take 12~15 min.
    We would like to invite you for a radio interview for the program ‘Morning wave in Busan’,
    which is the anchor morning radio show that covers current issues, news, and information.

    We would like you to comment about Hungary protest.
    We will provide you the questions to the interview by email in advance.
    We look forward to hearing from you soon. Our listeners in Busan would love to hear about your project.
    I look forward to your prompt reply.

    Warm regards.
    Hyunju Lee
    Writer of ‘Morning Wave in Busan’

  6. I recall your writing that Orban tends to double down (not your words) when he has a set back. It’s like ” you score a goal, and I’ll score two”. Perhaps this is what the Sunday Blue laws are about. I have a feeling that Viktor’s megalomania will be the end of him politically.

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  8. dear mrs Eva Balogh,

    Did you write ever about the musea-park-plan in Budapest, the Liget project?
    I read that mr Wim Pijbes ( director Rijksmuseum Amsterdam) is in the commission for the architectselections. We want to tell him to quit with this and give him some more facts about this project and the political context.
    http://www.dezeen.com/2014/12/22/sou-fujimoto-house-of-hungarian-music-budapest-museum-park , is what I found.
    If possible can you give me more details?

    Thank you,
    Marien Meijering, architect

  9. Dear Eva Balogh,

    I would like to comment on your articles in which you reference Albert Wass, my father. Being one of five sons of, and having been raised by, Albert Wass, I find it extremely painful to read all the negative articles, which you, and others, have written about a person you know nothing about; but from only the negative propaganda and false accusations you have read. We certainly were not raised in the manner in which you describe our father. You need to get your facts straight, and I would be willing to help you in this matter. For one; he did teach at a high school military school for one year, but tought for several years at the University of Florida. And he was not a member of the Arrowcross. He definitely was not a fascist, or anti-Semite, nor ever preached to us, or gave us the impression of having ever been so. He was a loving, gentle, and caring person, and devoutly religious person, boy scout leader, and civic leader, which everyone that knew him, loved, and had the deepest respect for. I agree, that for some reason, the far right wing groups have embraced our father as their hero, for which we have no control, nor embrace. We, the five son’s of Albert Wass, hope that some day people will discover the truth about our father. that he gets rehabilitated and exonerated of the war crime charges, and that all these negative articles finally come to an end.

  10. Hi,

    I follow politics in Hungary. I do not read, write or speak Hungarian so I must use English language sources. I follow 9 online newspapers and blogs (including your) daily. (Sometimes I am baffled by what is considered news, but that’s another issue.)

    Yours is the only site that refers to a deal being struck between the Hungarian government and RTL Klub. I find a free “press” critical to democracy and therefor the RTL Klub issue to me is an extremely important. Could you post a link that explains the status of the negotiations and if they have been completed the terms of the agreement..

    Thanks

  11. @Article 7. The terms of the agreement are not public yet. We have only RTL Club’s confirmation that an agreement was reached. It has been also reported by the media that RTL Klub did not agree to any change in their reporting practices.

  12. Just to say thank you for your coverage of the Merkel visit to Hungary.

    It is very good to be able to read, in English, an insightful angle on the events there.

    And the comments about how Orbán continues to be belligerrent about how he runs the country, even with visiting dignitaries such as Merkel, are very disturbing, but might be understood in light of his personal family background, which I wonder if you are aware of?

    His father, so I understand, was a signed up hard-core member of the Communist party, and beat Orbán as a child. Viktor’s siblings were named Viktoria, and Győző (meaning “Champion”) – so we have Viktor, Viktoria, and Champion, which tells us something about the confrontational and brutish mentality of the household from which our Viktor sprang.

    Bito László, an eminent Hungarian writer, and world renowned physiologist, has surmised that Orbán’s power struggle and endless need for a fight at any cost, regardless of the ruination of Hungary, stems from a desperate desire to please his father. Basically, he wants to be loved by everyone, so surrounds himself only with psychophantic lackies, and goes berserk under criticism, which he takes very personally.

    I think this psychological take on what makes Viktor tick is accurate and important to bear in mind, but it is a sad reflection on Hungarians who support him and his bad behaviour, and are unable to distinguish between a credible statesman, and a damaged, self-serving desperado with his bandits.

  13. Hello Eva, great blog! I am new to Hungarian politics but getting increasingly interested in it in the framework of my PhD. I am indeed a PhD student at the London School of Economics and for my research I am looking for the maiden speech (i.e. the investiture speech Prime Ministers do when they are appointed to govern a country, and given a confidence vote) of Gordon Bajnai I suppose delivered on 14/4/2009. Could you help me to find it? In English or Hungarian, both are fine. Thank you very much in advance for your help!

  14. Your site needs repairing, does NOT accept Visa for contribution. Tried Feb 14
    Also I tried repeatedly to sign up, in vain.

  15. Thank you very much for thus blog, these informations & insights and your commitment!

    As a regular reader, I was glad to see that one can support this project by donations small and big – which I just did.

    I would like to take this as a chance to make a suggestion: It would be great if you could enlarge this blog regarding its base: Why not include writers from Hungary in order to provide more exchange and perspectives? Students, young journalists etc. would do :-)

  16. I am extremely grateful for the generous contributions received already and I will certainly try to expand our horizons by inviting guest writers. We did have a few before, like Prof. János Kornai’s important essay just the other day, Prof. Kim Scheppele’s many legal treatises, or Prof. Charles Gati’s studies. Yes, we could do more. Thank you for the suggestion.

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