Research & Studies

Some Interpretations of the Place of the Events of 1989–1990 in 20th Century History. Hungarian Perspectives

This newly published, intriguing article by Attila Pók was released in a journal called Visegrad Europe, No. 3, 2020.



The article is dedicated to the analyses of interpretations of the events that led to the burst out of reform processes in Central Europe 30 years before, in 1989-1990. The author stresses that with the passing of time the focus of digging into the fertile soil of the bottomless depth of the past keeps shifting: political developments, environmental issues, great cultural achievements alike can mark major turning points in the narrations of global regional, national, local pasts. Events of the past can be turned into historical narratives in numerous forms.The guild of historians have their own rules,the performance of politicians in dealing with the past is judged by the support they can gain in their fight for power. Among the major questions of investigation are: what happened in the world, in Europe, in the countries of the Soviet Bloc, in Hungary three decades ago? When does the process that led to the termination of the bipolar world, to the fall of European communist regimes, to the restructuring of power relations from the global to the East Central European local levels begin? How can one define the driving forces of changes and what could be considered to be the most important longer term consequences? He is trying to give a concise summary of some international and Hungarian interpretations of the transition process in Eastern and Central Europe, making also an attempt at pointing out the impact of the interpretations on the process itself.


Keywords: reforms, transition, opposition, post-communism, system change, new political order, Visegrad countries, Hungary


The article is available HERE with full text.