Parliament Politics: A Material Semiotic Analysis of Liberal Democracy (Endre Dányi)

Liberal democracy in Central Europe is often said to have begun in 1989, after the collapse of communism. Endre Dányi’s PhD research aimed to disturb this narrative by foregrounding the Hungarian parliament building, the construction of which began more than a hundred years before the fall of the Berlin Wall. Inspired by historical sociology and Science and Technology Studies (STS), Endre’s thesis showed how a particular version of liberal democracy was literally cast in stone in the end of the 19th century, how that political reality gradually fell apart during the 20th century, and how it was being reappropriated in the beginning of the 21st century.