Millennial politics of architecture

reinstating the nation in Budapest

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Politics in Hungary since 1989 has been focusing on nation-building. Each government has had a license to articulate what it is to be Hungarian, in the public realm with public funds. While current political debates are heated and focus yet again on defining Hungarian national identity, this article takes a distance from contemporary politics. It studies a situation ten years earlier, when the current government party Fidesz – which took a landslide victory in the 2010 general elections after eight years of socialist-liberal government – was in office for the first time from 1998 to 2002. Exploring the debate from the perspective of architecture, it reveals how Fidesz sought to mark their space and express their sense of nationhood in Budapest around the millennium. Beside publicly sponsored institutions and commemoration, architectural forms became contested as they were used to express nationality. The National Theatre, Millennium Park and House of Terror Museum, each broke with the urban flow in the left-leaning metropolis while representing the Fidesz discourse on Hungary. The article, besides analyzing postcommunist nation-building, reflects on the interconnection between architecture, politics and memory in an urban symbolic landscape. It discusses how myths of nationhood can be represented in the cityscape.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNationalities Papers
Volume41
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)536-551
ISSN0090-5992
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 517 Political science
  • ARCHITECTURE
  • MEMORY
  • Nationalism
  • political symbols
  • HUNGARY
  • Budapest

Cite this

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title = "Millennial politics of architecture: reinstating the nation in Budapest",
abstract = "Politics in Hungary since 1989 has been focusing on nation-building. Each government has had a license to articulate what it is to be Hungarian, in the public realm with public funds. While current political debates are heated and focus yet again on defining Hungarian national identity, this article takes a distance from contemporary politics. It studies a situation ten years earlier, when the current government party Fidesz – which took a landslide victory in the 2010 general elections after eight years of socialist-liberal government – was in office for the first time from 1998 to 2002. Exploring the debate from the perspective of architecture, it reveals how Fidesz sought to mark their space and express their sense of nationhood in Budapest around the millennium. Beside publicly sponsored institutions and commemoration, architectural forms became contested as they were used to express nationality. The National Theatre, Millennium Park and House of Terror Museum, each broke with the urban flow in the left-leaning metropolis while representing the Fidesz discourse on Hungary. The article, besides analyzing postcommunist nation-building, reflects on the interconnection between architecture, politics and memory in an urban symbolic landscape. It discusses how myths of nationhood can be represented in the cityscape.",
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Millennial politics of architecture : reinstating the nation in Budapest. / Palonen, Emilia.

In: Nationalities Papers, Vol. 41, No. 4, 2013, p. 536-551.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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AB - Politics in Hungary since 1989 has been focusing on nation-building. Each government has had a license to articulate what it is to be Hungarian, in the public realm with public funds. While current political debates are heated and focus yet again on defining Hungarian national identity, this article takes a distance from contemporary politics. It studies a situation ten years earlier, when the current government party Fidesz – which took a landslide victory in the 2010 general elections after eight years of socialist-liberal government – was in office for the first time from 1998 to 2002. Exploring the debate from the perspective of architecture, it reveals how Fidesz sought to mark their space and express their sense of nationhood in Budapest around the millennium. Beside publicly sponsored institutions and commemoration, architectural forms became contested as they were used to express nationality. The National Theatre, Millennium Park and House of Terror Museum, each broke with the urban flow in the left-leaning metropolis while representing the Fidesz discourse on Hungary. The article, besides analyzing postcommunist nation-building, reflects on the interconnection between architecture, politics and memory in an urban symbolic landscape. It discusses how myths of nationhood can be represented in the cityscape.

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