Come and celebrate with us 25 years of Medieval Studies at CEU!
Wide selection of books with 25% discount, including The Oldest Legend
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Latest releases:

Academic Freedom. The Global Challenge
edited by Michael Ignatieff and Stefan Roch

From Central Planning to the Market by Libor Žídek

Coming soon:

Landscapes of Disease - Malaria in Modern Greece
Katerina Gardikas

Nationalism and Terror - Ante Pavelić and Ustasha Terrorism from Fascism to the Cold War
Pino Adriano and Giorgio Cingolani

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The Roundtable Talks of 1989
The Genesis of Hungarian Democracy

Editor András Bozóki, Associate Professor in Political Science,
Central European University and Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest

In Hungary the "velvet revolution" of 1989 was prepared, or rather prompted, by a series of negotiations conducted between representatives of the democratic opposition, the ruling Communist party, and a political group called the "third side" comprising organizations close to the Communist regime. As a result of these talks, referred to as the historic "Roundtable Talks", free elections were held in Hungary in 1990, marking the end of the oppressive Communist regime and the beginning of a new epoch in the country's history.

Based on primary sources recently published in Hungarian in eight volumes - edited by András Bozóki, Márta Elbert, Melinda Kalmár, Béla Révész, Erzsébet Ripp and Zoltán Ripp - this book tells the history of the Roundtable Talks. The contributors prove that in Hungary - as opposed to some other Central European countries - the Roundtable Talks amounted to much more than just a sideshow and in fact they constituted the hub of the revolutionary transformation.

In the first part of the book - a series of analytical essays - scholars of the Hungarian democratic transition discuss the most relevant aspects of the Roundtable Talks, the actors and organizations participating, the tactics and strategies used, institution building, the new electoral system, and constitutional reform. The Hungarian Roundtable Talks are placed into wider historical and international perspectives. In the second part, eight key documents are presented with commentaries. The book has a detailed chronology, biographies of the most important participants, and an index.

Contributors to the volume include:
Andrew Arato - Professor in Political and Social Theory at the Graduate Faculty of New School University, New York; Csaba Békés - Historian, senior fellow at the Institute of 1956, and director of the Research Center of Cold War History András Bozóki - Associate Professor in Political Science at the Central European University and Eötvös Loránd University, both are in Budapest; Melinda Kalmár - Freelance historian focusing on the ideology of the Kádár era in Hungary; Gergely Karácsony - PhD candidate in Sociology at the Budapest University of Economics and a research fellow at the Median public opinion poll institute; Ádám Masát - Student in History and Political Science at Eötvös Lóránd University; János Rainer M., - Historian, director of the Institute of 1956, recurrent visiting lecturer at the Department of History at the Eötvös Loránd University; Alan Renwick - Lecturer in politics at Christ Church College, Oxford; Erzsébet Ripp - freelance political scientist focusing on the Kádár era; Zoltán Ripp - Historian, senior research fellow at the Institute for Political History in Budapest John W. Schiemann - Adjunct Professor of Political Science at Columbia University, New York; Rudolf L. Tõkés - Professor Emeritus in Political Science at the University of Connecticut, in Storrs

" exceptional volume. Ably and inventively edited by András Bozóki, it consists of ten analytical chapters, a sample of key documents, a chronology of the Hungarian National Roundtable Talks, and forty-five brief yet informative biographies of the principal participants. The exceptional strength of this book is based on four pillars: (1) a comprehensive description of all the important aspects of the roundtable process; (2) ingenious analyses of several aspects (political, social, cultural, and historical) of this process; (3) several innovative theoretical contributions; and (4) a sample of the original transcripts and documents." - Slavic Review

"...a comprehensive overview and in-depth analysis of the process of roundtable talks... a balanced and well-written contribution to the study of regime change, institution-building and elite behaviour... an essential reading for anyone interested in the process of democratisation in Eastern Europe." - Political Studies Review

"Das Verdienst des Bandes ist es, auch dem nicht-ungarischkundigen Leser detaillierte Kenntnisse über Genese, Verlauf und Ergebnisse der beiden Runden Tische une ihres Internationalen Umfeldes zu vermitteln. Ohne diese Einblicke ist der Systemwechsel in Ungarn und der Charakter der neuen politischen Ordnung des Landes nicht zu verstehen." - Südost-Forschungen

520 pages
ISBN 978-963-9241-21-3 cloth $65.95 / €55.95 / Ł44.00