Hungary occupies a distinguished position in universal twentieth-century political history with its no less than eight changes of regime. In little more than seven decades revolutions, counter-revolutions, occupations, and new changes of regime followed each other. Interpretation of the events changed frequently, often to the liking of the victors, in works of history commissioned by the political power.
After 1990 Hungarian historical scholarship also underwent a renewal. The archives opened up, and with that a newly found freedom of scientific research set in. The aura of political commissions prevailed for a while, scholarly endeavours, however, broke away from the interference of politics. It was under such circumstances that the Institute of Political History was founded with the intention of focusing on, tackling and comprehending the complexities of twentieth-century Hungarian history. In the past fifteen years the researchers of the Institute have carried out several successful research projects. The focal point of their work has been contemporary history, approached from new points of view. We are determined to analyse political and social historical aspects in unison, as well as connect micro history into the unveiling of the processes of the period viewed also from macro historical perspectives. As a new field of research, we are examining the history of elections, electoral behaviour and political media. We also began to explore the post-1945 Hungarian history from a new perspective.
The present publication provides an overview of our work accomplished in the Institute during the last decade and a half.