László Borhi
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The international context of Hungarian transition, 1989
The view from Budapest
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This chapter examines the attitude of the USSR as well as the western powers to the transformation of Eastern Europe in the crucial year of 1989 based on Hungarian archival documents. By the second half of the 1970s Janos Kadar's Hungary was hailed as the most liberalised regime behind the Iron Curtain. Hungarian economic reforms seemed to justify the notion that Soviet-style socialism and the western system of capitalism would one day converge. As Moscow's rule over Budapest mellowed, Soviet and Hungarian visions for the future diverged and Budapest pushed for fundamental change in bilateral relations. There is plenty of archival material available on French policies towards Hungary. In acknowledging Soviet primacy in the region, the prime minister acted in the traditions of British policy towards Eastern Europe since 1944.

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