The explanation liesout there…

Book review on „The explanation lies out there…” Conversations with József Böröcz

This review presents József Böröcz’s latest book, published by Eszmélet Foundation in the summer of 2021. The book contains eight interviews on critical social theory, which partly summarize and partly supplement the author’s oeuvre. The interviews were conducted, respectively, by Márk Áron Éber, Boróka Parászka, Zoltán Pogátsa, Ferhunde Dilara Demir, György Heimer, Muhammed Shabeer, Ángel Ferrero, Ágnes Gagyi and Gergő Pulay, who themselves work as social scientists or journalists. They are all more or less familiar with critical social theory, and bring an important and useful contribution to the interviews. The volume primarily fits into the tradition of historical sociology, world-systems theory and postcolonial studies. Accordingly, its main claim can be summarized as follows: society cannot be understood as a mere snapshot within the artificially generated framework of nation-states. Instead, we need to broaden our horizons and our analytical framework both in time and space. In addition to this, critical race theory is an important element of the book, which Böröcz applies to the critique of the „consciousness of whiteness” of Hungarian people. In the interviews, the author discusses not only theoretical problems, but also current political and public life issues, such as the Black Lives Matter movement, the 2020 US presidential election, the COVID crisis, Hungary’s position in the EU, etc. In addition, well-known concepts and issues from his oeuvre are also addressed, such as informality (Böröcz 2019), (dual) dependency (Böröcz 1992), global redistribution (Böröcz 2005 [2004]), or the „EU-Empire” (Böröcz 2018 [2009]).

Released: Replika 123, 191–196.
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