chapter  9
22 Pages

Evolution and Revolution in Policy-Making: Hungarian Industry, Science and Technology Policy-Making

Social scientists are trained to identify similarities. In the case of time-series policy studies, they quickly come up with periods in which certain elements of policies look more alike than others. That by itself is hardly surprising. It would be more interesting to see if there are periods in which similarities between policies are clearly more marked than the differences and which are ended by periods of rather rapid policy change instead of the incremental policy changes we are used to in day-to-day politics. One could look if these proposed times of rapid policy change either show a certain regularity and/or can be found in several different cases. Accordingly, in this paper an effort will be made to identify such cases, in which the political, social and economic structures involved vary to some degree, so that one can make assumptions on the impact of factors such as economic growth, political stability, or, more broadly, the institutional set-up of a country or system on the change of policies. This paper aims at providing greater insight into the processes of, and the reasons for policy change by focusing on a nowadays small and semiperipheral country in Central and Eastern Europe. It is to deal with industrial, science and technology policy-making in Hungary since World War II (WW II), with an emphasis on the 1990s.1 The case promises interesting data as Hungary has featured two distinctly different political regimes during these decades, one state-socialist and the other pluralistdemocratic. In addition, the four decades of state-socialism can be differentiated into the time of orthodox state-socialism of the 1940s and

1950s, with the uprising of 1956 as an intermission and the time of reformsocialism, from the 1960s to the 1980s.