Kovács, János M.

Istvan Deak Visiting Professor


Dr. oec – Karl Marx University of Economics, 1975
Dipl. oec.Karl Marx University of Economics, Budapest, Faculty of Economic Theory, 1968-1973


Interests and Research


History of economic thought in communist and post-communist Eastern Europe
Political economy of new capitalism in Eastern Europe
Economic cultures after communism
Institutional economics


Between Bukharin and Balcerowicz. A Comparative History of Economic Thought under Communism (Triple B), http://triple-b-project.net/



  • HIST W4233/HIST GU4233 Reforming Communism – Crafting Capitalism: History of Collectivist Economic Thought and Practice in Eastern Europe and China
  • HIST W3233/HIST UN3233 From Liberalism to Illiberalism? Economic Ideas & Institutions in Central & Eastern Europe during the Past Two Centuries


Reform Economics: The Classification Gap, Daedalus Winter 1990; and in: Stephen Graubard (ed), Eastern Europe, Central Europe, Europe, Westview 1991.

(ed) Rediscovery of Liberalism in Eastern Europe, East European Politics and Societies, special issue, Winter 1991.

From Reformation to Transformation: Limits to Liberalism in Hungarian Economic Thought, in: J.M. Kovacs (ed), Rediscovery of Liberalism in Eastern Europe.

(ed)Reform and Transformation. Eastern European Economics on the Threshold of Change, London, Routledge, 1992 (co-editor: Marton Tardos).

Compassionate Doubts about Reform Economics (Science, Ideology, Politics), in: J.M. Kovacs & M. Tardos (eds): Reform and Transformation.

Which Institutionalism? Searching for Paradigms of Transformation in Eastern European Economic Thought, in: Hans-Jürgen Wagener (ed): The Political Economy of Transformation, Physica-Verlag, Heidelberg, 1993.

(ed) Transition to Capitalism? The communist legacy in Eastern Europe, Transaction Publishers, New Brunswick and London, 1994.

Planning the Transformation? Notes about the Legacy of the Reform Economists, in: J.M. Kovács (ed): Transition to Capitalism?

Boxing the Shadow? "Neoliberals" and Social Quality After Communism, in: Wolfgang Beck & Laurent van der Maesen & Alan Walker (eds.), The Social Quality of Europe, Kluwer 1997.

Uncertain Ghosts. Populists and Urbans in Postcommunist Hungary, in: Peter Berger (ed), Limits of Social Cohesion, Westview Press 1998.

Praising the Hybrids. Notes on Economic Thought Ten Years After, East European Politics and Societies 1999/2.

Rival Temptations – Passive Resistance. Cultural Globalization in Hungary, in: Peter Berger & Samuel Huntington (eds), Many Globalizations, Oxford University Press, 2002.

Approaching the EU And Reaching the US? Transforming Welfare Regimes in East-Central Europe: Rival Narratives, West European Politics April 2002; and in Peter Mair & Jan Zielonka (eds), The Enlarged European Union. Diversity and Adaptation, Frank Cass, London 2002.

Business as (Un)usual. Notes on the Westernization of Economic Sciences in Eastern Europe. In: Max Kaase and Vera Sparschuh (eds): Three Social Science Disciplines in Central and Eastern Europe. GESIS/ Social Science Information Centre (IZ), Bonn/Berlin and Collegium Budapest, Budapest, 2002.

(ed) The West as a Guest. Cultural Globalization in Hungary. Budapest, 2002 (in Hungarian).
Back to the Mainstream? On the Westernization of Economic Thought in Hungary. In: J.M. Kovacs (ed): The West as a Guest.

(ed) Small Transformations. The Politics of Welfare Reform – East and West. LIT Verlag, Münster, 2003.

Between Resentment and Indifference. Narratives of Solidarity in the Enlarging Union. In: Krzysztof Michalski (ed), What Holds Europe Together? CEU Press, Budapest 2006.

Which Past Matters? Culture and Economic Development in Eastern Europe after 1989. in: Lawrence E. Harrison and Peter Berger (eds), Developing Cultures, Routledge 2006.

Little America. Eastern European Economic Cultures in the EU, in: Ivan Krastev and Alan McPherson (eds), The Anti-American Century, CEU Press, Budapest 2007.

Narcissism of Small Differences. Looking Back on “Reform Economics” in Hungary, in: Christoph Boyer (Hg.), Zur Physiognomie sozialistischer Wirtschaftsreformen, Klostermann, Frankfurt am Main, 2007.

Accomplices without Perpetrators. What Do Economists Have to Do with Transitional Justice in Hungary?, in: Anatoly Khazanov and Stanley Payne (2009), Perpetrators, Accomplices and Victims in Twentieth-Century Politics. Reckoning with the Past, Routledge, 2009.

Ex Occidente Flux. A Debate on the Usefulness of Macroeconomics and the Responsibility of Economics, Közgazdasági Szemle 2009/10 (in Hungarian) 881-912 o.

Importing Spiritual Capital. East-West Encounters and Capitalist Cultures in Eastern Europe after 1989, in: Peter Berger and Gordon Redding (eds), The Hidden Form of Capital, Anthem Press, London 2010.

(ed) Capitalism from Outside? Economic Cultures in Eastern Europe after 1989, CEU Press, Budapest – New York, 2012 (co-editor: Violetta Zentai).

Beyond Basic Instinct? On the Reception of New Institutional Economics in Eastern Europe, in: J.M. Kovacs and Violetta Zentai (eds), Capitalism from Outside? …

Tradition, Nachamung, Erfindung. Neue Kapitalismen in Osteuropa, Transit 43, 2013.

Shooting Sparrows with a Cannon? On the History of Eastern European Economic Thought, 2000, May/June 2013 (in Hungarian).

(ed) Populating No Man’s Land. Concepts of Ownership in Economic Thought Under Communism, Lexington Books, 2017 (forthcoming)