Imre Kertész Kolleg Jena

Dr Agnes Gagyi

Fellow Dr Agnes Gagyi

January - June 2020
: agnes.gagyi(at)gu(dot)se

Agnes Gagyi is Researcher in the Department of Sociology and Work Science at the University of Gothenburg. Her work generally addresses politics and social movements in Central and Eastern Europe in the context of the region’s long-term world-economic integration. Her recent projects in the topic involved East European versions of anti-austerity movements after 2008, a comparative study of waves of economic crisis and political mobilization in Hungary and Romania since 1970, and reorganizations of expert knowledge structures during changes in modes of world market integration after 1970. She is member of the Budapest-based Working Group for Public Sociology “Helyzet”.

Research project

Since the financial crisis of 2008, polities across the globe are subject to reorganizations of economic, social and political alliances, engendered by the volatility of changes in world market integration. In the context of growing political and social tensions, a global wave of authoritarian politics is accompanied by new uncertainties regarding geopolitical and world trade alliances, and a growing threat of military conflicts. In this context, ECE political narratives of postsocialist transition that promised economic welfare, political democracy, and the closing the developmental gap between Eastern and Western Europe, come to be remodeled in various right- and left-wing political imaginaries about the region’s place in the current global crisis and transformation.

The project proposes to look at one particular element of this situation: the political mobilization of middle classes in ECE. Globally, middle classes and their changes of social alliances are considered to be a significant factor in the politicization of crises, and these groups have indeed played a dominant role in post-2008 mobilization waves. The project will investigate the development of new middle class mobilizations in Hungary and Romania as part of long-term waves of middle class politics in the region, placing it within the two countries’ different constellations of world-economic and geopolitical integration in the period between the global crisis of 1973 and the aftermath of the 2008 crisis. Conceptually, the project contributes to a globally comparative understanding of East European social movements across late socialist and post-socialist periods, by demonstrating how political contestations of two different regional constellations of world-market and geopolitical integration can be compared as part of the same transnational process.

Main areas of research

  • Social movements in Eastern Europe
  • International political economy
  • History of ideas


Positions and memberships

  • Member of Working Group for Public Sociology “Helyzet”, Budapest
  • Member of European Association of Social Anthropologists (EASA)
  • Member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences


Gagyi, A. (2019) A válság politikái. Új kelet-közép-európai mozgalmak globális perspektívában (Politics of the crisis. New East Central European movements in global perspective). Budapest: Napvilág.



Gagyi, Agnes, and Mariya Ivancheva. "The reinvention of ‘civil society’: Transnational conceptions of development in East-Central Europe." Funding, power and community development (2019): 55-69.

Florea, Ioana, Agnes Gagyi, and Kerstin Jacobsson. "A field of contention: Evidence from housing struggles in Bucharest and Budapest." VOLUNTAS: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations 29.4 (2018): 712-724.

Gagyi, Agnes. "What it takes to compare non-core movements: a world-systems perspective. Two cases from contemporary East Central European movements." Interface: a journal for and about social movements 9.2 (2017): 61-82.

Gagyi, Agnes. "“Coloniality of power” in East Central Europe: external penetration as internal force in post-socialist Hungarian politics." Journal of World-Systems Research 22.2 (2016): 349-372.

Gagyi, Ágnes, and Márk Áron Éber. "Class and Social Structure in Hungarian Sociology." East European Politics and Societies 29.3 (2015): 598-609.

Gagyi, Agnes. "Reform economics at the Financial Research Institute in late socialist Hungary: A case of globally embedded knowledge production." Intersections 1.2 (2015).

Gagyi, Ágnes. "Social movement studies for East Central Europe?." Intersections. East European Journal of Society and Politics 1.3 (2015): 16-36.


review of Ban, Cornel. Ruling ideas: How global neoliberalism goes local. Oxford University Press, 2016., in Contemporary Sociology, 47.2 (2018): 158–160.

review of Lampland, Martha. The Value of Labor: The Science of Commodification in Hungary, 1920-1956. University of Chicago Press, 2016, in Journal of Contemporary Central and Eastern Europe, 25.3 (2017): 389–390. With Tamas Gerocs.

review of Alex Cistelecan and Andrei State (eds.) Plante exotice. Teoria și practica marxiștilor români (Exotic plants: The Theory and Practice of Romanian Marxists), Cluj Napoca, Tact, 2015, and Stefan Guga: Sociologia istorica a lui Henri H. Stahl (The Historical Sociology of Henri H. Stahl), Cluj Napoca, Tact, 2015, in Studia Universitatis Babes-Bolyai Sociologia 61.1 (2016), 149-162.

The full list of publications can be found on the website of the University of Gothenburg