Accepted paper:

Institutionalization from a world systems perspective: the 2011 movement cycle in Hungary


Agnes Gagyi (University of Gothenburg)

Paper short abstract:

Looking from the perspective of world systems analysis, the paper sketches out an interpretative framework for institutionalization in classical moments of anti-systemic movement cycles, and applies this framework to understand demonstrations in the 2010-2014 political cycle in Hungary.

Paper long abstract:

The paper proposes to look at the institutionalization of social movements from a world systems perspective, that is, in relation to the historical dynamics in the development of the capitalist world system. In this approach, historical cycles of the world system are formed by intrabourgeois (competitive) struggles, wrought in the context of continuing resistance from below (class struggle). Anti-systemic movements take form in, and are formed by the actual context of capitalist development, and act themselves formatively on it. Consequently, movements are not understood as crystal-clear antitheses of power dynamics, but rather as their products and formative factors. Based on this tradition, the paper sketches out an interpretative framework on the institutionalization of classical anti-systemic movement cycles of the 19th and 20th centuries: the social and national liberation movements aiming for state power, and the 1968 movement cycle directed against both world systems hierarchies and state bureaucracy. Building on that framework, it makes an attempt at conceptualizing the relationship between the present hegemonic cycle of world system development, the transnational movements that address it from the left (the Global Justice Movement and the present Occupy wave), and the institutionalization of demonstrations in Hungary in the political cycle 2010-2014.

panel IP08
The institutionalization of revolutionary movements: ethnographic case studies