"Making An Aquarium Out Of Fish Stew" Reforming Post-Communist Budapest | Wilson Center
6th Floor, Woodrow Wilson Center

"Making An Aquarium Out Of Fish Stew" Reforming Post-Communist Budapest

Event Co-sponsors

Gabor Demszky served as Mayor of Budapest between 1990 and 2010, being re-elected five times.  As the longest serving mayor of a major European capital in recent decades, he oversaw the post-communist transformation of municipal management and of the city as a whole.  While in office, he implemented major economic reforms, transforming public services and urban infrastructure.  Demszky will draw from experience bringing the management of Budapest into a liberal, capitalist world to consider how cities handle uncertainties in budgetary planning. He will reflect upon effective policies that address the segregation of the Roma population and large social inequalities.  Discussant Anders Åslund will speak about the major economic challenges Demszky faced during his tenure, while Sonia Hirt  will place Demszky’s experiences within the context of broader urban trends during the post-socialist transition.


  • Gabor Demszky

    Global Fellow
    Doctor of Law, Wissenschraftskolleg zu Berlin, Germany; Former Mayor of Budapest, 1990-2010
  • Anders Åslund

    Senior Fellow, Atlantic Council; Adjunct Professor, Georgetown University