The Institutionalisation of Smart Villages and Smart Rural Development in Hungary

Lessons from a Policy Discourse Analysis

  • Buskó Tibor László
doi: 10.32575/ppb.2023.3.1


The aim of this study is to describe and evaluate the institutionalisation process of the so-called smart approach to rural development, i.e. the implementation of “smart villages” in Hungary. Using the methodological tool of discourse analysis, it argues that an overemphasis on a critical approach, which would mainly interpret the institutionalisation of the smart village discourse on the basis of its role in the (re)production of domination, is a rather one-sided approach. In Hungary, local actors and/or grassroots initiatives have played a decisive role in shaping the meaning of the smart village concept right from the beginning. On the other hand, it seems that even at a later phase of the smart village discourse, when the power centre, i.e. the administration would gradually take matters into their hands, it is not appropriate to focus on asymmetric power relations. The analysis of the Hungarian Digital Village Programme launched in 2020 shows that the administration’s aim is still to encourage rural municipalities interested in smart approaches to actively participate in the process of meaning construction.


discourse analysis rural development smart villages smart rural development Hungary


Download data is not yet available.