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The Revolt of the Provinces: Anti-Gypsyism and Right-Wing Politics in Hungary

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Volume 23


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The Revolt of the Provinces

Anti-Gypsyism and Right-Wing Politics in Hungary

Kristóf Szombati
Foreword by Ivan Szelenyi

288 pages, 30 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78533-896-0 $135.00/£99.00 / Hb / Published (June 2018)

eISBN 978-1-78533-897-7 eBook

View CartYour country: - edit Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format)Recommend to your LibraryAvailable in GOBI®


“The book’s main message is a crucial one for making sense of contemporary far-right or populist movements…[It] is useful for students of Central and Eastern Europe, and, given the rise of right-wing populism around the world, it also has applications beyond this part of the globe.” • Anthropologica

“The book provides numerous insights into the micro-foundations of the anti-egalitarian and increasingly authoritarian turn in Hungary, where political representatives have consolidated their power on the EU’s periphery at the expense of the most vulnerable segments of society. Szombati’s emphasis on the roles played by economic dispossession, loss of cultural pride and political abandonment in the generation of popular insecurities and racism offers an important corrective to the prevalent facile explanations regarding the rise of East European illiberalisms.” • Europe-Asia Studies

“[This book] is an excellent study of the shifting economy, the rise of a far-right political movement, anti-Gypsy racism, and the dominance of a right-wing governing party. It offers a nuanced, innovative and holistic approach to this topic by engaging space, scale, history, racism/race formation, and class… The author’s command of literature and arguments is impressive.” • Sharryn Kasmir, Hofstra University

“Szombati has written an outstanding text that addresses with theoretical sophistication and empirical rigor key sociological and political issues of our time… [This] is a work of great originality and courage.” • Douglas Holmes, Binghamton University


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 has a background in both activism and academia. He recently completed his PhD at Central European University (Budapest) and received the ‘Best Dissertation’ award for his work on anti-Gypsyism in rural Hungary. He has published articles on far-right movements and on the intersection of politics, ethnicity and ‘race’. He currently holds a Visiting Professorship at Columbia University.

Subject: Political and Economic AnthropologySociology
Area: Central/Eastern Europe


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