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Socialist authority : the Hungarian experience /
Peter A. Toma.
imprint
New York : Praeger, 1988.
description
xxvii, 288 p. ; 24 cm.
ISBN
0275926028 (alk. paper) :
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
New York : Praeger, 1988.
isbn
0275926028 (alk. paper) :
general note
Includes index.
catalogue key
2107671
 
Bibliography: p. [267]-273.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1988-09:
Careful followers of reform movements within Communist bloc countries will profit from this new work by a specialist on Hungarian politics. Twenty years after introduction of the New Economic Mechanism (NEM), both the Hungarian elite and the mass population have had mixed experiences with the process of reform. From the vantage point of the elite, in the 1980s reform has moved beyond the economic realm into the political. Passage of the new Electoral Law of 1983 resulted in the transfer of more power to locally elected governmental bodies and also produced contested elections for legislative seats. In order to channel mass energies released by the reforms in the direction of regime support, political leaders have recently emphasized the leading role rather than the monopoly position of the Communist party. From the perspective of the mass population, the reforms have brought chances for more material prosperity. At the same time, many persons have become resentful of the socioeconomic inequities that are the inevitable byproduct of such reforms. Confusion and anger about some of these changes may be correlated with social problems, such as increasing rates of alcoholism and suicide. The author makes his points about mass society through a useful combination of extended personal case histories with basic data pertaining to many important social indicators. In many regards, the conclusions are similar to those presented by Hans-Georg Heinrich in Hungary (CH, Sep '86). However, Toma is more pessimistic than Heinrich about the overall impact of the NEM. Recommended for upper-division and graduate students. -J. W. Peterson, Valdosta State College
Reviews
Review Quotes
'¬úCareful followers of reform movements within Communist bloc countries will profit from this new work by a specialist on Hungarian politics. Twenty years after introduction of the New Economic Mechanism (NEM), both the Hungarian elite and the mass population have had mixed experiences with the process of reform. From the vantage point of the elite, in the 1980s reform has moved beyond the economic realm into the political. Passage of the new Electoral Law of 1983 resulted in the transfer of more power to locally elected governmental bodies and also produced contested elections for legislative seats. . . The author makes his point about mass society through a useful combination of extended perrsonal case histories with basic data pertaining to many important social indicators. In many regards, the conclusions are similar to those presented by Hans-Georg Heinrich in Hungary (CH Sep 86). However, Toma is more pessimistic than Heinrich about the overall impact of the NEM.'¬Ě' Choice
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, September 1988
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Summaries
Long Description
Careful followers of reform movements within Communist bloc countries will profit from this new work by a specialist on Hungarian politics. Twenty years after introduction of the New Economic Mechanism (NEM), both the Hungarian elite and the mass population have had mixed experiences with the process of reform. From the vantage point of the elite, in the 1980s reform has moved beyond the economic realm into the political. Passage of the new Electoral Law of 1983 resulted in the transfer of more power to locally elected governmental bodies and also produced contested elections for legislative seats. Choice Toma addresses the question: What are the factors and variables that permit one socialist system to exercise more economic, political, and social freedom than another? He studies authority in contemporary Hungarian society with an emphasis on communist practices versus ideological absolutes. He tests some generally accepted views of the socialist system in Hungary and shows how the Hungarians have attempted to resolve the question of how to combine socialist economic planning with social justice. Through a series of case studies, he differentiates between the theory and the practice of socialist authority, mainly through an analysis of how Hungarians have learned to circumvent restrictions imposed by the regime.
Long Description
Toma addresses the question: What are the factors and variables that permit one socialist system to exercise more economic, political, and social freedom than another? He studies "authority" in contemporary Hungarian society with an emphasis on communist practices versus ideological absolutes. He tests some generally accepted views of the socialist system in Hungary and shows how the Hungarians have attempted to resolve the question of how to combine socialist economic planning with social justice. Through a series of case studies, he differentiates between the theory and the practice of socialist authority, mainly through an analysis of how Hungarians have learned to circumvent restrictions imposed by the regime.
Unpaid Annotation
"Careful followers of reform movements within Communist bloc countries will profit from this new work by a specialist on Hungarian politics. Twenty years after introduction of the New Economic Mechanism (NEM), both the Hungarian elite and the mass population have had mixed experiences with the process of reform. From the vantage point of the elite, in the 1980s reform has moved beyond the economic realm into the political. Passage of the new Electoral Law of 1983 resulted in the transfer of more power to locally elected governmental bodies and also produced contested elections for legislative seats." Choice
Table of Contents
Introduction
The Vs. Imaginary Social Contract Socialist Democracy and Socialist Authority
The Rulers and the Ruled Who Gets What for What?
Finding Loopholes in the Bureaucratic Red Tape It's Who You Know, Not What You Know The Hedonism of Authority From Traditionlism to Nihilism
The Transformation of the Family and Religion as Institutions Mass Media and Quality of Life New Society With Old Traditions
The Hungarian Social Character
Bibliography
Index
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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