Hungary and the End of Empire(s): The Mnemonics of Identity, Statehood and Constitutionalism

The history of constitutionalism is woven thick with the culture of forgetting. Using an interdisciplinary approach, the thesis endeavours to bring the past back to the table as well as analyse the fundaments of identity constitutionalism in colonial and post-colonial environments. Challenging its limits, the thesis in hand seeks to extend and render more accessible the vocabulary of European constitutionalism. Decolonising this language, it is argued, will serve to refine and widen the scope of the European Constitutional Imaginary. With the Hungarian case – a country that has been both an imperial force as well as an imperial subject – the author will seek to illustrate the impact of empire and identity on statehood and, consequently, constitutionalism; often, and lamentably, missing from discourse on post-Soviet legal systems. Ultimately, it seeks not a ‘return to Europe’ of the central Eastern European region’s intellectual tradition but rather a more expansive understanding of it – one that ties it inextricably to Europe’s core.