Hungary Table of Contents
Hungary's interest in economic reform prompted not only political reform but also changes in its foreign policy stance. The regime found that successful economic reform required political reform to encourage greater popular participation in governmental affairs and an increase in regime legitimacy. Thus, the regime took certain steps to expand political participation and to promote more individual freedom. Successful economic reform also necessitated changes in Hungary's relationship to the world economy. Hungary developed and diversified its relations with many Western countries and with several non-Western countries. Political reforms also encouraged Western countries, particularly the United States, to furnish economic assistance to Hungary. Domestic economic reform therefore provided the impetus for Hungary's willingness to emancipate itself, if only to a small degree, from both the Soviet political model and Soviet foreign policy tutelage.
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In 1989 monographs on Hungary's political system and foreign policy remained scarce. Hans-Georg Heinrich's Hungary: Politics, Economics, and Society presents an overview of the government, state, and party structures. Baruch Hazan's The East European Political System, although a general work, contains some useful information about Hungary. Peter Toma's Socialist Authority also provides material on the political system. For most aspects of government and politics, the interested reader is encouraged to turn to more specialized works. Istvan Kovacs's "The Development of the Constitution of the Hungarian People's Republic" discusses the Constitution. Heinrich's Verfassungswirklichkeit in Osteuropa contains much material on the Presidential Council. Barnabas Racz's "Political Participation and Developed Socialism: The Hungarian Elections of 1985" is the best secondary source on the electoral system. George Schopflin's Censorship and Political Communication in Eastern Europe provides a perspective on the media. The best writings on foreign policy are the reports prepared by analysts at Radio Free Europe, particularly those by Alfred Reisch. In addition, an account of Hungary's attempts to develop a new foreign policy role for itself is found in works by Gyula Jozsa. (For further information and complete citations, see Bibliography.)
Data as of September 1989