LEGACY AND POLICY EFFECTS ON SPATIAL DEVELOPMENT IN HUNGARY AND BULGARIA
This dissertation investigates the relationship between socioeconomic and spatial development in Eastern Europe from a historical perspective. I examine how global and national processes affect localities, and what their impact is on the spatial distribution of population and economic activities over time. The backdrop for this study is the historical transformation of Eastern Europe from a predominantly agricultural region to a modern industrial one, even if this modernity can be labeled as "delayed", "distorted" or "dependent" when compared to the Western experience. When investigating socioeconomic and spatial development over time, I focus on the impacts of two fundamental processes, historical legacies and development policies. Legacies and policies must be connected in order to understand their impact on patterns of socioeconomic and spatial development over time, and to assess trends for the future. I approach the study of social and spatial development from an interdisciplinary standpoint, working at the intersection of development sociology, social demography, political science and population geography. The conceptual project of this study is to connect these disciplines' accumulated knowledge on Eastern Europe, and articulate causal links between processes described by these fields. Although each field has accumulated considerable knowledge on development in the region separately, there hasn't been a systematic effort to connect these findings in a historical perspective. I use a comparative framework to achieve this goal, and hence I discuss the Eastern European development trajectory vis-?-vis the Western experiences. The particular contribution of this study is to connect the political theory of Eastern European "backwardness" to an analysis of the region's socio-demographic change, population redistribution and urbanization in particular. The dissertation's empirical project is to examine population distribution and urbanization dynamics in Eastern Europe. I investigate how spatial development occurred in the context of broader socioeconomic development, and how various policies and legacies affected settlement morphology and population redistribution. This analysis will use the cases of Hungary and Bulgaria. Hungary will be the central analytical case of this study, and I will use Bulgaria to demonstrate the intraregional heterogeneity of Eastern Europe.
David L. Brown, Valerie J. Bunce, Douglas T. Gurak
eastern europe; spatial development; urbanization; post-socialism; hungary; bulgaria
dissertation or thesis