The fox and the raven: The European union and Hungary renegotiate the margin's of "Europe"

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The forty-four months that elapsed between Hungary's initial application and the issuance of the Commission's Opinion represent the longest waiting time in the history of accessions to either the European Union or its predecessor, the European Communities. This was a clear rebuttal to the repeated requests of the Hungarian government for a speedy process, a request based on Hungary's perceived status as a forerunner of market and democratic reforms among the states of the former state socialist bloc during the last fifteen years. Hungary's application was processed considerably more slowly than that of fellow pending-applicant Cyprus (thirty-six months). Malta (thirty-five and a halt) or Turkey (thirty-two), not to mention such earlier applicants as Norway, the United Kingdom, Denmark, and Ireland (two to four and a half months). Talks about Hungary's accession began in April, 1998. They are expected to last, even by the boldest optimists, for at least three more years. This study is an empirical attempt to analyze the intersection of the sociologies of power, knowledge, interstate relations, underdevelopment, identity, and communication. I look at the expert exchange that took place as part of diplomatic communication between Hungary and the European Union during the last phase of the former's application for membership in the latter. In doing so, I apply to this contemporary material various tools of textual analysis in the mode of what Carlo Ginzburg calls the "evidential paradigm": that is, I seek clues that help map the topography of the communicative space of two documents- the book-length (but nonetheless abbreviated) version of the Hungarian response 8 to the EU-questionnaire (which reproduces the EU's original questions as well)-and the reaction to the Hungarian self-study report by the European Union itself.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)847-875
Number of pages29
JournalComparative Studies in Society and History
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science

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