Attila Melegh

We are happy to announce Professor Attila Melegh as our seventh Vienna Karl Polanyi Visiting Professor for the summer term 2024! In the course of his visit to Vienna, he will hold a PhD-seminar, an Internal Workshop at Central European University and an open lecture. 


Sociologist, economist and historian Attila Melegh is a professor at Corvinus University, Budapest and a senior researcher at the Demographic Research Institute. His research focuses on the global social change in the 20th century, the care crisis and international migration. Professor Melegh is also an expert on the works of Karl Polanyi and was founding director of the Karl Polányi Research Center at Corvinus University. He is the author of over a hundred scientific publications, the renowned book ‘On the East/West Slope, Globalization, Nationalism, Racism and Discourses on Central and Eastern Europe’ published at CEU Press and a new 2023 book ‘Migration Turn and Eastern Europe’ at Palgrave Macmillan.

Prof. Melegh is also a Doctor at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and President of the Demographic Committee of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. During his career he has been senior advisor at the Hungarian Central Statistical Office, professor at Pal Tomori College as the founder of international studies program and president of the European Network of Global and Universal History. He has taught in the United States, Russia, Georgia and Hungary. He has been the project manager of several major international projects including SEEMIG. Professor Melegh has been actively involved in many conferences, most recently in the conference series on “Non-Capitalist Mixed Economies: Theory, History, and Future” as well as “Transformative Change in the Contested Fields of Care and Housing in Europe” in Linz in December 2023. In May 2024 he will also hold a keynote and lead workshops in the conference “Imaginaries and Strategies for Good Care and Good Housing in Times of Transformation” in Vienna.

He does research on population discourses, migration, migration statistics, the care crisis, care migration and on global social change in the 20th century. His teachings include Economic Sociology, Migration Studies and Theory of Global Social Change. Professor Melegh’s aim for the conference series on “Non-Capitalist Mixed Economies” aim at “developing new perspectives on the history of forms of socialism as transitory, mixed economies, presenting new experiences with currently existing mixed and hybrid systems, and elaborating future possibilities beyond capitalism and, hopefully, capital itself.


The Research Seminar Global Social Change and the Migration Turn will be open for PhD-students at Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU), University of Vienna and Central European University (CEU). Also, Master-Students from the University of Vienna and CEU will be able to participate. Participation is limited.


Interested Students have to contact our Visiting Professorship Team under the following mail-addresses and pay attention to the end date of the application period. Students can apply with a letter of motivation (1 page max) and a CV.

Send your application to:, by February 21st 2024


This seminar, held by Prof. Attila Melegh and supported by Prof. Andreas Novy, concentrates on a historical sociological analysis of the migration turn that has been occurring since the 1980s until the present day. It focuses on Eastern Europe, but in a global and historical context, in order to show what historical interactions have been evolving, and what historical role has been taken by various actors in the process we call the migration turn: How do we perform dynamic historical sociological analysis? What insights can we gain from population discourses in the 1980s and the start of the globalization cycle? Why are we in a trap?

The broad aim of the seminar is to sharpen a critical perspective on migration, globalization, related politics as well as training to analyze some key historical, socio-material and discursive processes. Due to multiple crises, the seminar contextualizes current debates in broader debates of political ecology, a post-growth society as well as geopolitical and geoeconomic challenges.


May 22nd, 2024; 6:30 PM (CET) @WU Clubraum (LC 2.400)

“Balancing the Imbalanced”

Public Lecture by Attila Melegh 

Application closed


Németh, Á., Göncz, B., Kohlbacher, J., Lengyel, G., Melegh, A., Németh, Z., … & Tóth, L. (2023). International Migration Patterns in and between Hungary and Austria.

Melegh, A., & Csányi, Z. (2023). Migration anxieties in Eastern Europe. Material grounds for an anti-migrant turn in a global-historical perspective?. Journal of Contemporary Central and Eastern Europe31(3), 561-584.