Since the end of socialism, both labor markets and social policies have undergone great changes in Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic. Focusing on workfare schemes in the countryside of Viktor Orbán's Hungary, this lecture investigates the links between the absence of attractive local jobs and anti-migrant sentiment.
The Visegrad states have acquired a dubious reputation since the outbreak of Europe’s “migrant crisis” in the summer of 2015. Members of the European Union since 2004, and thus recipients of significant transfers from the West, they are criticized for lack of solidarity when it comes to dealing with millions of non-European immigrants. Particular ire is directed at Hungary, notably for constructing new fences and holding an anti-Brussels referendum in October 2016. But many Hungarian villagers ask how they can be expected to welcome strangers when no decent jobs are available for themselves and their own children. The security and relative prosperity of the late socialist era has been replaced by pervasive uncertainty. One key to understanding intensifying social antagonisms is the moral value attached to work; this has deep roots in the agrarian past, persisted in new forms under socialism, but has been severely weakened in the present version of market capitalism.
Chris Hann has been Director at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology (Halle/Saale) since 1999. Prior to this he taught social anthropology in Britain (University of Cambridge and University of Kent at Canterbury). He has done field research in Hungary and Poland since the 1970s.
A lecture in cooperation with the Agrarian Studies Group.
5th of May, Workshop with Chris Hann at the University of Vienna (Prominentenzimmer), 09.00 a.m.-12.00 p.m.; registration for the workshop required: email@example.com
IGLR - Institut für Geschichte des ländlichen Raumes, St. Pölten
Institut für Wirtschafts- und Sozialgeschichte, Universität Wien
Wissenschaft & Forschung, Land Niederösterreich