Hungarian Experts in Nkrumah’s Ghana

Decolonization and Semiperipheral Postcoloniality in Socialist Hungary

How was Hungary connected to post-WWII decolonization? What does this episode of Eastern European history tell us about shared postcolonialities, transnational interconnectivity, and semiperipheral positioning strategies? This short article aims to address these questions in the context of socialist Hungary’s evolving relations with independent Ghana under the Kwame Nkrumah regime (1957–1966), by focusing on transnational experts and how Hungarian economists put together Ghana’s First Seven-Year Plan. My aim is to show how this led to the Hungarian emergence of comparative development studies and postcolonial knowledge production, and how parallels in colonial history were drawn between Hungary and Africa. I attempt to connect postcolonialism with world-systems analysis in order to present the intertwined discursive and structural processes of semiperipheral relations affecting colonial discourse.

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