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András Kovács (1947) - Biography

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András Kovács was born in Budapest in 1947. He studied at the Kölcsey Ferenc Secondary School from 1957 onwards. He earned his degree at the Arts Faculty of ELTE Budapest in 1971. He was awarded his Ph.D. degree in sociology at the same university in 1973. His areas were the philosophy of history and the philosophy of science; he was a part time lecturer at ELTE's Department of Philosophy and worked as an editor for publishing houses. He edited his Marx in the Fourth Decade based on the answers given by 21 of his contemporaries to a set of questions in 1977 and he also had the copies of the book typed up. As a result, he got dismissed and was banned from being employed. He made a living by doing translations and casual jobs. He belonged to the circle of the democratic opposition. In 1980, in response to international pressure, he was allowed to get a passport and could work at universities and research institutes in Germany, France, the US and the Netherlands as a visiting professor up until 1984. By that time his area of research was focussing on the Jewish question and Jewish identity.

After the change of the system he got rehabilitated and became a research fellow at the Institute of Sociology. Parallel to his activity as a social scientist and lecturer, he worked as an advisor for the Federation of Young Democrats until 1994. Since 1997 he is a lecturer of the Nationalism Studies Program of the Central European University and the Academic Director of the university's Jewish Study Program. Since 2006 he has been the Doctor of Sciences at the Academy of Sciences, and since 2008, Professor at the Central European University. In 2013 he was awarded the Szechenyi Prize in recognition of decades of teaching and research in the field of post-war Hungarian Jewish social history, as well as the sociology of minority identities.


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