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Historical Development of Public

Administration in Hungary


- Our perception of transitions
- A -> B
- Economic transition
- Political transition
- State-building/nation-building transition
- Public administrative reforms


- Is the transition period over?

- Can we speak of Hungary as a success story of transition?

Hungary under the Communist Rule:

New era of 40 year period of communist rule began after WW2 with
the approval of the National Assembly of a Stalinist constitution, which
established socialist state, dominated by the Hungarian Workers party.
Structure of Hungarian Socialist Workers Party:
1. Politburo-centralized decision making power
2. Central Committee key role in coordinating policy and in
overseeing implementation
3. Government Administration- operated in the partys shadow, with
little independence
4. Three ministries ( Defense, Interior, Foreign)- all under party control

During the communist era- appointment to the government

administration was determined by academic qualifications and personal
aptitude BUT the criterion of political reliability was paramount.
Cadre System all appointees on top-level positions in the state
administration had to be approved by the party committee.
Sovietization :
1. All-powerful Central Planning ( top managers/ middle cadres
2.Forceful agricultural cooperatives
4.Nationalization ( affected almost half a million employees)

Characteristics of Soviet Public Administration:

Every branch of economy and every form of social expression from art, music,
sports etc. are subject to administrative regulation and direction.
Hierarchy of public servants operating within a framework of disciplined
subordination to state purposes.
one-party administration. monopoly of legality. Soviet public administration is
suffused with political content.
The party permeates soviet society, occupies the strategic positions of power in
state administration, issues policy directions which guide administrative activity.
Soviet administration gives little weight to individual rights. It is oriented on
state interests, for which every branch of government is dedicated to promote.

Goulash Communism:
(gulyskommunizmus) or Kadarism (after Jnos Kdr)

the variety ofcommunismas practiced in Hungary from the

1960s until the Central European collapse ofcommunismin
Pseudo-communism in the communist era and to the
pseudo-capitalism after the country became a democracy

Pragmatism, flexibility and reforms

concern forpublic opinionand an increased focus on the
Improved human rights record
Civic autonomy
less authoritarian
Government policy if you are not against us, you are with

New Economic Mechanism:

after 1960 policymakers began relying on economists and other
specialists rather than ideologists in the formation of economic policies.
On January 1, 1968, a milestone was reached when the classical
command economy suddenly ended, and a curious hybrid form of
economy took over
consumer-based communist economic system
the regime with some legitimacy and political stability based on solid
economic performance
Transition centrally planned economy and eventually introduced
elements of a free market
central planning focused only on long-term objectives

Transition Process:
How it was occurred? By revolution or by reforms?
What were the changes and innovations in political,
economic and public administration sector during the
transition to democracy?
- political freedom, rule of law, multiparty system
(pluralistic democracy)
- liberalization, privatization, competitive market
- decentralization

What were the consequences?

- privatization improved foreign direct investment / job loss
rate increased, lower wage, stratification
- decentralization the number of municipalities was
increased, peoples participation rate in local governance was