The new alliance of the church and the state

Seminar anotation:

With the dismantling of the welfare state, nation states have gradually retreated from providing social protection and educational services across Europe. While in Western Europe, market actors have been involved at a growing extent, following the victory of the right-wing populist coalition in 2010, a characteristically different mode of governing has been unfolding in Hungary. State officials and key politicians have repeatedly and publicly confirmed the alliance of the church and the state, and ‘historical’ Christian churches have been incentivised with generous state subsidies to take a greater part in service provision. The lecture will locate these developments within the broader international trends of strengthening nationalism and conservatism in education policy-making. I am especially interested in how new discoursive frameworks and practices of the relationship between the state, the church and the citizens in need have emerged in the education policies of the last decade. I will discuss the specificities of Hungarian neoconservative policy development with a special focus on the discoursive construction of the alliance of the church and the “Hungarian Christian-democratic state” in education and the involvement of the Christian churches as policy-making actors.

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