The Rise of Heteronomous Academia on the EU’s Borderlands

The present essay is a response to József Böröcz’s seminal article entitled Informality Rules published in Replika 20 years aft er its original appearance in East European Politics and Societies. More precisely, our work explores some ways informalities may corrupt and endanger the autonomous knowledge production in Hungary. We argue that in addition to the intertwining external forces of neoliberalism and illiberalism, academic autonomy in Hungary is also threatened by the selection processes governed by informal networks to the detriment of academic excellence. Furthermore, evidence is brought to illustrate that the systematic lack of refl ection of official scholars on the internal hindrances of autonomous science serves to reproduce the status quo favouring, and upheld by, the domestic academic elite. To analyse the heteronomous functioning of Hungarian academia, the concepts of informalities and simulated protest are applied within a Bourdieusian sociological framework.

Released: Replika 115–116, 131–140.
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