Csaba Varga Hungarian Academy of Sciences Institute for Legal Studies, Centre for Social Sciences H-1250 Budapest P.O.B. 25 Hungary

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From amongst legal theories of Socialisms’ Marxism, Hungarian scholarship played a rather balancing role all along. Characterised by dialogue and successful mediation, it strove to take a middle-of-the-road stance within the Socialist orbit. It took the professional requirements of scholarship rather seriously within the bounds of feasibility at varying times. Under restrictive conditions and despite ideological dictates, it filled a fermentative role. All in all, it made both (1) the sociological approach and (2) the historico-comparative perspective accepted in the Socialist world by transcending legal positivism and especially “Socialist normativism”, on the one hand, and by breaking out from domestic/regional self-seclusion, on the other. Moreover, it (3) introduced the ontological perspective, built upon the epistemological perspective, exclusive till then, and thereby it could attribute ontic significance to the self-explanation and self-representation of different legal cultures, usually treated as having merely an ideological importance; and (4) by developing a law and modernisation theory, it could address Central and Eastern Europe in a responsive way. The overview starting by assessing the legacy in the end of WWII concludes in a parallel characterisation of the state of scholarship and its achievements throughout the countries concerned by the end of the Soviet rule. Through and owing to all this, the Hungarian pattern offered a relatively near-to-optimum alternative, a kind of optimality in its solutions and responses.

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Acta Juridica Hungarica
Language English
Year of
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per Year
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Founder Magyar Tudományos Akadémia  
H-1051 Budapest, Hungary, Széchenyi István tér 9.
Publisher Akadémiai Kiadó
H-1117 Budapest, Hungary 1516 Budapest, PO Box 245.
Chief Executive Officer, Akadémiai Kiadó
ISSN 1216-2574 (Print)
ISSN 1588-2616 (Online)