Re-Politicising the Analysis of “New State Spaces” in Hungary and Beyond: Towards an Effective Engagement with “Actually Existing Neoliberalism”



Abstract:  Recent scholarship grounded in strategic-relational state theory has offered a compelling approach to state spatial restructuring under neoliberal capitalism. By drawing on Hungary's post-1990 state spatial reforms, this paper discusses a major limitation of state theoretical frameworks. In particular, the paper seeks to challenge state theorists’ generally subtle but persistent bias to capitalist economic structures, and argues that the above bias impedes an adequate and effectively critical account of state spatial regulation. Finally, it makes a case for a perspective on new state spaces that acknowledges the wider socio-historical embeddedness of state space production, as well as its inherently political nature.