Although Hungary joined the European Union in 2004, it seems that it has not yet been able to catch up with its Western European neighbors socioeconomically. The reasons for this are numerous, including the fact that this former historical region, today the sovereign state of Hungary, has a specific sociocultural image and attitude formed by various historical events. And the nature of these events can explain why Hungary’s economic development and overarching political narrative differ so markedly from Western Europe. The aim of this article is to present the unique location of Hungary in the context of Central and Eastern Europe, and to address such factors as urbanization and industrialization, migration, population, politics, economic development, and social values crisis. We argue that these factors, including the European status quo that emerged after 1945, have influenced the existing sociopolitical, socioeconomic, and sociocultural differences between Hungary and Western European EU states.
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DOI 10.3167/ijsq.2020.100205
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