This book explains how and why the state-socialist regime in Hungary used technology and propaganda to foster industrialization and the conservation of natural resources simultaneously. Further, this book explains why this process was ultimately a failure. By exploring the environmental pre-history of communist Hungary before analyzing the economic development of the Kádár regime, Pál investigates how economic and environmental policies and technology transfer were negotiated between the official communist ideology and the global economic reality of capitalist markets. Pál argues that the modernization project of the Kádár regime (1956-1990) facilitated ecological consciousness - at both an individual and societal level - which provoked great social unrest when positive environmental impact was not achieved.
Today, global issues of climate change, urban pollution, resource depletion, and overpopulation transcend political systems, but economic and environmental discourses varied greatly in the twentieth century. This volume is important reading for all those interested in economic and environmental history, as well as political science.
Viktor Pál is Researcher and Lecturer at the University of Helsinki, Finland. He coordinates the Interdisciplinary Environmental Hub for Authoritarian Regimes (IEHAR) at the Aleksanteri Institute, Finland, and has served as a guest researcher at UCLA, USA, as well as at various European institutions. His research interests include urban environmental history, water history, history of technology and popularizing science.
Chapter 1. Introduction.Chapter 2. Economy, Technology and the Environment in Europe and in Hungary, 1800-1945.Chapter 3. Economy, Technology and the Environment in Europe after World War II.Chapter 4. Stalinist Vision for Economy and Environment in Hungary in the 1950s.Chapter 5. Economic Reforms and Environmental Protection in Hungary the 1960s. Chapter 6. Technological Reform and Environmental Performance in Hungary in the 1960s.Chapter 7. Capacity Building in Environmental Services and the Environmental Shift in Hungary in the 1960s and 1970s. Chapter 8. Economic Stagnation and Failed Environmental Reform in the 1970s. Chapter 9. The Environmental Movement and Political Opposition in the 1980s. Chapter 10. Epilogue.