4/25: Book Event: The Revolt of the Provinces with author Kristóf Szombati

The Center for Place, Culture and Politics invites you:

Book Event: The Revolt of the Provinces with author Kristóf Szombati,

in discussion with Andrew Arato and Mary N. Taylor, moderated by Ida Susser

Wednesday April 25th,

6:30p – 8:30p 

Room C198

CUNY Graduate Center,

365 5th Ave, NY, NY 10016

© Photo by Polina Georgescu

The Revolt of the Provinces (forthcoming May 2018 Berghahn) is the first in-depth ethnographic monograph on the New Right in Central and Eastern Europe, The Revolt of the Provinces explores the making of right-wing hegemony in Hungary over the last decade. It explains the spread of racist sensibilities in depressed rural areas, shows how activists, intellectuals and politicians took advantage of popular racism to empower right-wing agendas and examines the new ruling party’s success in stabilizing an ‘illiberal regime’. To illuminate these important dynamics, the author proposes an innovative multi-scalar and relational framework, focusing on interaction between social antagonisms emerging on the local level and struggles waged within the political public sphere.

Kristóf Szombati is Istvan Deak Visiting Professor at Columbia University. He has a background in both politics and academia. He co-founded the green LMP party and was an elected member of its Steering Committee until 2010 when he left party politics to pursue a PhD at Central European University (CEU). He completed the latter in 2016 and received CEU’s Best Dissertation award for his work. Besides writing the book, he has also published articles on radical right-wing politics in Hungary and on the intersection of politics, ethnicity and ‘race’.


Andrew Arato (PhD 1975, University of Chicago) is the Dorothy Hart Hirshon Professor in Political and Social Theory at the New School for Social Research in New York. He has taught at L’École des hautes études and Sciences Po in Paris, as well as at the Central European University in Budapest. He had a Fulbright teaching grant to Montevideo in 1991, and was Distinguished Fulbright Professor at the Goethe University in Frankfurt/M,Germany. Professor Arato has served as a consultant for the Hungarian Parliament on constitutional issues (1996-1997), and as U.S. State Department Democracy Lecturer and Consultant (on Constitutional issues) on Nepal (2007). He was re-appointed by the State Department in the same capacity for Zimbabwe (November of 2010), where he had discussions with civil society activists and political leaders in charge of the constitution-making process. He was invited Professor at the College de France (Spring 2012).

Professor Arato’s scholarly research is widely recognized, and conferences and sessions have been organized around his work at University of Glasgow Law School (Spring 2009) and Koc University, Istanbul (December 2009), as well as at the Faculty of Law, Witwaterstrand University, Johannesburg, South Africa (August 2010). Arato was appointed Honorary Professor and Bram Fischer Visiting Scholar at the School of Law, University of Witwatersrand Johannesburg (June 2010-June 2011). Among his publications are Adventures of the Constituent Power (Cambridge University Press, 2017); Post Sovereign Constitution Making: Learning and Legitimacy(Oxford University Press, 2016); Critical Theory and Democracy (A Festschrift for Arato) (Routledge, 2013); Constitution Making Under Occupation: The Politics of Imposed Revolution Iraq (Columbia, 2009); Civil Society, Constitution, and Legitimacy (Rowman & Littlefield, 2000); Habermas on Law, Democracy, and Legitimacy: Critical Exchanges, co-editor with Michael Rosenfield (University of California, 1998); From Neo-Marxism to Democratic Theory: Essays on the Critical Theory of Soviet-Type Societies (Routledge, 1994); Civil Society and Political Theory, co-author with Jean L. Cohen (MIT, 1992). 

Mary N. Taylor is Assistant Director of the Center for Place, Culture, and Politics at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.  Her research focuses on sites, techniques and politics of civic cultivation, social movement, and cultural management; the relationship of ethics and aesthetics to nationalism and cultural differentiation, and people’s movements in interwar, socialist and postsocialist Hungary, East Europe, and the Balkans. She is a member of the editorial collective of LeftEast, co-organizer of an annual roving summer school on ‘neoliberalizing postsocialism’, and co-founder of the Brooklyn Laundry Social Club. Her writing has been published in an array of fora, including Focaal–European Journal of Anthropology, Nationalism and Ethnic Politics, Journal of Hungarian Studies, The Journal of Nationalism and Ethnicity, Bajo el Volcan, and LeftEast. She edited Critical Perspectives on the Persistence of ‘Culture Talk’ in the Making of Europe (2009 Focaal–European Journal of Anthropology 55); and co-edited (with Charlotte Huddleston, Abby Cunnane, and Sakiko Sugawa Co-Revolutionary Praxis; Accompaniment as a Strategy for Working Together (2015:  Auckland NZ: ST PAUL St. Gallery Publishing). She is currently completing her book Movement of the People: Folk Dance, Populism and Citizenship in Hungary.

This event is free and open to the public. It is sponsored by The Center for Place, Culture, and Politics.

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