About Us

Attila Pók

Pók Attila


Attila Pók is deputy director of the Institute of History at the Research Centre for Humanities at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in Budapest. He is also vice-president of the Hungarian Historical Association and permanent Visiting Professor of History at Columbia University in New York. His publications and courses cover three major fields: 19th-20th century European political and intellectual history, history of modern European historiography with special regard to political uses of history and theory and the methodology of history writing. His works in English include: A Selected Bibliography of Modern Historiography (Bibliographies & Indexes in World History, Number 24, Greenwood Press, New York‑Westport, Connecticut-London, 1992); The Politics of Hatred in the Middle of Europe. Scapegoating in Twentieth Century Hungary: History and Historiography (Savaria Books on Politics, Culture and Society. Savaria University Press, Szombathely, 2009); volume co-edited with Randolph L. Braham: The Hungarian Holocaust after Fifty Years (Columbia University Press, New York, 1997); volume co-edited with Stuart Macintyre and Juan Maiguashca: The Oxford History of Historical Writing (Vol. 4. Oxford University Press, 2011).

Research program

Hungarian Collective Memory and Memory Politics in a European Context (1989-2010). A case study in continuities and discontinuities, global, regional and local approaches to memory and memorialization”

The research question of the project: why and how did confrontations along the line of memory politics limit the capability of the Hungarian political elite to represent a consensual national interest in Eastern Central European, European and global conflicts during a critical transition and post-transition period following 1989-90? Why did the numerous debates on key issues of Hungarian and modern European history in Hungary not lead to a German type of Historikerstreit? I argue that these series of exchanges and their aftermath in Germany have contributed to stabilizing the German political situation, whereas the post-1990 Hungarian historical-political debates moved the Hungarian political culture into the opposite direction.
The underlying issue is the limitations and possibilities of a liberal democracy in Hungary. The research uses three types of comparison: respective debates in various European countries, Hungarian debates between 1945 and 1989 and collective memory in Kőszeg.


Are conflict and cooperation complementary concepts?