MTA Law Working Papers

A Jogtudományi Intézet műhelytanulmányai

Balázs Fekete – István H. Szilágyi: KOL researches in the socialist Hungary

The critical assessment of the legacy of Socialist jurisprudence is among the most difficult tasks of the post-transitory Central-European legal thinking. This study tries to provide a critical reading of the findings of Hungarian Socialist legal sociology with respect to the description and analysis of the Socialist legal culture. The discussion starts with the first comprehensive empirical survey on the legal knowledge of the population, designed and carried out by Kálmán Kulcsár in 1965, and ends with András Sajó’s synthesis on the nature of the Hungarian Socialist legal culture elaborated in his monograph entitled Illusion and reality in law, published in 1986. The paper’s main conclusion is that this two decades long “golden age” of Hungarian legal sociology offers many valid points in both methodological and substantive terms contrary to the fact that the various findings were mainly elaborated under the pressure of official Marxism-Leninism.