|Office||RECET, Spitalgasse 2, Hof 1.1|
Janos Matyas Kovacs graduated at the Karl Marx University of Economics, Budapest in 1973, and became a research fellow at the Institute of Economics, Hungarian Academy of Sciences. In 1987, he moved to Vienna and worked as a visiting fellow at the Institute for Human Sciences (IWM) until 1990. Between 1991 and 2018, Kovacs acted as a permanent fellow of the IWM while remaining an external research fellow of the Institute of Economics until 2014. From 2009 to 2021, he taught history of economic thought at the Department of Economics, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest. Meanwhile, he also gave courses as visiting professor at the Columbia University and the Central European University. Kovacs joined RECET in 2019 as its senior member.
Major research projects
Current research projects
Liberalism – Neoliberalism – Illiberalism: Capitalism after Communism and a New Surge of Collectivist Ideas: This project focuses on economic discourse in Eastern Europe and China where pluralism is under attack by illiberal ideas. Dr. Kovács examines how post-1989 (neo)liberalism is being replaced by old and new state-collectivist doctrines in many countries of the former Eastern Bloc.
Selected recent publications:
(ed) Communist Planning versus Rationality. Mathematical Economics and the Central Plan in Eastern Europe and China. Rowman and Littlefield, Lexington Books, 2022.
"Mathematical Economics Outside the Neoclassical Paradigm? Evolution of Planning Concepts in Hungary under Communism." (co-author: Gergely Kőhegyi) In: J.M. Kovacs (ed), Communist Planning versus Rationality..., 2022.
"Rationality Found and Lost? In Search of a New Historical Narrative of Optimal Planning." In: J.M. Kovacs (ed), Communist Planning versus Rationality..., 2022.
(ed) Brave New Hungary. Mapping the "System of National Cooperation" (co-editor Balazs Trencsenyi), Rowman and Littlefield, Lexington Books, 2019.
"Orban's Right Hand Thinks. On the Sources of György Matolcsy's Economic Vision." In: J.M. Kovacs and Balazs Trencsenyi (eds), Brave New Hungary..., 2019.
"Hungary – Brave and New? Dissecting a Realistic Dystopia." (co-author: Balazs Trencsenyi) In: J.M. Kovacs and Balazs Trencsenyi (eds), Brave New Hungary ..., 2019.
(ed) Populating No Man's Land. Economic Concepts of Ownership Under Communism, Rowman and Littlefield, Lexington Books, 2018.
"From Two to One and Only? Theorizing Ownership in Communist Hungary." In: J.M. Kovacs (ed), Populating No Man's Land ..., 2018.
"Expeditions to No Man's Land. Comparing Economic Concepts of Ownership under Communism: An Evolutionary View." In: J.M. Kovacs (ed), Populating No Man's Land ..., 2018.
"Heading the Gloom. How I Did Not Become a Reformer in the Hungary of 1968." [in Hungarian] 2000, 2018/6.
"Vom Zweifel zur Scham. Sieben falsche Vorhersagen über das postkommunistische Ungarn." Transit, 2017/50.
"Everything I always wanted to know about mathematical economics (but was afraid to ask)" [in Hungarian], 2016. http://ketezer.hu/2016/11/minden-amit-tudni-akartam-matematikai-kozgazdasagtanrol-de-nem-mertem-megkerdezni-2/
"Tradition, Nachamung, Erfindung. Neue Kapitalismen in Osteuropa." Transit 43, 2013.
"Shooting Sparrows with a Cannon? On the History of Eastern European Economic Thought (1917-1989) I, II" [in Hungarian], 2000, May/June 2013.
(ed) Capitalism from Outside? Economic Cultures in Eastern Europe After 1989 (co-editor Violetta Zentai), Budapest / New York: CEU Press, 2012.
"Beyond Basic Instinct? On the Reception of New Institutional Economics in Eastern Europe." In: J.M. Kovacs and Violetta Zentai (eds), Capitalism from Outside? ..., 2012.
"Defining the Undefinable: East-West Cultural Encounters." (co-author: Violetta Zentai) In: J.M. Kovacs and Violetta Zentai (eds), Capitalism from Outside? ..., 2012.