Neo-Turanism and its Performance: Everyday Geopolitics of the Hungarian Far-right

Academic & Research
Wednesday, May 28, 2014 - 11:00am
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Wednesday, May 28, 2014 - 11:00am to 12:30pm
Nador u. 13
Open to the Public

This talk will be about the geographical metanarrative of Neo- Turanism as articulated by the far-right socio-political forces in Hungary which differs from most European far-right movements but shares some elements of the anti-Western orientation with Eurasianism and Pan-Slavism. It will trace Neo-Turanism’s origin to a historical ideology (Turanism) that has aspired to terminate Hungary’s alliance with the “West” and instead form a cultural, political, and economic alliance with the Uralo-Altaic peoples (i.e., Turks of Turkey, the Turkic peoples of Central Asia, Tatars, the aboriginal tribes of Siberia, and even Mongols, Manchus, Koreans, and Japanese). After examining the development of Turanism during the 18th to 20th centuries, it draws on concentrated fieldwork and interviews in 2012 to focus on the revival of Turanism in today's Hungary. Due attention is paid to the revival within the political platform articulated by Jobbik as well as in the everyday political activities of many of the country’s inhabitants and social groupings in the context of Europeanization and globalization.


Emel Akçali is Assistant Professor at the Department of International Relations and European Studies of Central European University in Budapest. Her main research interests span state and societal transformations, non-Western and alternative globalist geopolitical discourses, governmentality studies and critical realist philosophy. She is currently conducting research on the limits of neo-liberal governmentality and challenges of state (trans-)formation in post-revolutionary Tunisia. Her most recent publications are ‘Taming’ Arab social movements: Exporting neoliberal governmentality, Security Dialogue 44, 2013, Geographical Metanarratives in East-Central Europe: Neo-Turanism in Hungary, Eurasian Geography and Economics 53: 5, 2012, Turkey’s Bid for European Union Membership: Between “thick” and “thin” conceptions of Europe, Eurasian Geography and Economics LII 2012 and Getting Real on Fluctuating National Identities: An Insight from Northern Cyprus, Antipode 43/5, 2011.