Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Department (Manual Entry)

Dept. of Political Science


The funeral of Imre Nagy on June 16, 1989 can be seen as a critical moment in the Hungarian transition to a democratic republic as it explicitly undermined the moral and political authority of the communist government then in power. This Nagy memorial signified a longing for a national identity tied to the spirit of republicanism that had been thwarted in 1956 and had roots going back to 1848. The unity of purpose displayed by the Hungarian people at the funeral brings to mind Emile Durkheim_s analysis of piaculum and the conscience collective. This is what the sociologist, Robert Bellah described as how a society interprets its historical experience in light of a transcendent reality. In this case study of the Nagy memorial, the republican spirit emerges as a possible transcendent social movement that fills the collective conscience.


Original Version:

Source Data

Presented: at the 3rd European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR) Conference at Corvinhus University in Budapest 8 September 2005 and at the Narrative Matters 2006 Conference, Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia 27 May 2006