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Nagy Erika, Mihály Melinda és szerzőtársaik cikke megjelent az Applied Geography szakfolyóiratban


Applied Geography

Crisis, institutional change and peripheral industrialization: Municipal-central state relations and changing dependencies in three old industrial towns of Hungary

Applied Geography, Volume 136, November 2021, 102576



  • The global financial crisis unfolded unevenly.
  • The local focus allows us to grasp the complexity of socio-spatial consequences of the downturn beyond market relations.
  • Central state is a powerful agent of post-crisis recovery in peripheral industrial spaces.
  • Trajectories of peripheral industrialization in CEE rooted in post-transition institutional experimentation and coalitions in local spaces.
  • Rearrengement of power relations between central state and municipalities aime to control local assets and fuel peripheral industrialization.


This paper aims to discuss radical changes, institutional responses and their socio-spatial consequences by focusing on reorganisation of institutional settings of local economic development after the global financial crisis (2008). We focus on the complexity of institutional change and social relations driving those in three old industrial towns (Dunaújváros, Martfű and Tatabánya in Hungary) that faced a functional, cognitive and political lock-in in the 1990s, and emerged as spaces of encounter of global production networks, governmental development policies and local society in the 2000s. This entailed a complex and dynamic assembly of various interests and strategies, providing a scope for local institutional experimentations that were interrupted by the global crisis and the resulting macro-structural changes. We place municipal agency, its uneasy, contested and changing relation to the central state in the focus. We discuss how the introduction of a new regulative system and institutional-spatial hierarchies in Hungary after the 2008 crisis enhanced central state power, and how that was mobilized to develop a new regime in which communities were losing control over their resources, and local assets were being channelled in peripheral industrialization orchestrated by the central government. Discussing municipal agency in a strategic-relational approach allows us to highlight the depth and multiple consequences of the crisis locally beyond market relations, giving an insight in the spatial rearrangement of power in relation to peripheral industrialization.


Global financial crisis, Peripheral industrialization, State space, Municipal agency, Strategic-relational approach