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Populism, Antipopulism, and the Construction of "the People" in Hungary

Wednesday, Jan 10, 2018, 2:45 PM

Mary N. Taylor

Populism, Antipopulism, and the Construction of “the People” in Hungary

This presentation will have two parts. The first will address the way in which the
label “populism” today functions to legitimate a form of technocratic rule that is
common in the neoliberal/post-socialist era. By uncovering the work of “liberal
antipopulism,” I hope to clear our vision for a deeper view of problems of
democracy faced not just in Hungary but more broadly in the “post-political”
moment and to make visible aspects of the struggle over the definition of “the
people” that go beyond rhetoric. In the second part, I draw on historical and
contemporary practices and ideologies of the Hungarian “folk” movement to
address questions of how “the people” is constructed in relationship to
Hungarianness under particular historical conditions.

Mary N. Taylor is Assistant Director of the Center for Place, Culture, and
Politics at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Her research
focuses on sites, techniques and politics of civic cultivation, social movement,
and cultural management; the relationship of ethics and aesthetics to
nationalism and cultural differentiation; and people’s movements in interwar,
socialist and postsocialist Hungary, East Europe, and the Balkans. She is a
member of the editorial collective of LeftEast, co-organizer of an annual roving
summer school on “neoliberalizing postsocialism,” and co-founder of the
Brooklyn Laundry Social Club. Her writing has been published in an array of
fora, including Focaal, Bajo el Volcán, and Hungarian Studies, and she is
currently completing her book Movement of the People: Folk Dance, Populism
and Citizenship in Hungary.

The event will be held in English