Making the Space-Economy of Socialist Hungary: The Significance of the Division of Labor


  • Márton Czirfusz Hungarian Academy of Sciences



Division of Labor, Hungary, Nation, Economic Geography, Marxism


This article discusses in detail how the division of labor at different spatial scales has been an important line of argument in both economic geography and spatial planning in Hungary since 1945. First, I outline the intellectual heritage of interwar geography, and show how the role of different landscapes in the national division of labor was regarded as a distinctive feature. Second, I discuss different ways of thinking about spatial divisions of labor after 1945. I draw a distinction between neoclassical and Marxist ways of theorizing, and their differences in the Western and Eastern European (Hungarian) contexts, respectively. Third, to emphasize the national scale in the argument, I contrast spatial divisions of labor at supra- and sub-national scales with that of the national scale, and point to the inherent theoretical tensions within socialist scholarship in economic geography. I conclude by showing how scholars under socialism used the concept of the spatial divisions of labor in discussing the future of the nation, and how overcoming this kind of reasoning might be built upon in order to understand the current embeddedness of the Hungarian economy within the spatial order of the world economy.






Thematic Cluster: Space, Place, and the Making of Modern Hungary [Part II] Guest editors: S. Jobbitt and R. Győri