Julia Szalai

Affiliate Senior Researcher
Senior Research Fellow

Contact information

(mobile): +36 30 381 6968

In her teaching and research work, Julia Szalai has been engaged in studying intersectionalities of class, race/ethnicity, and gender in multiethnic societies across Europe with a closer focus on poverty and social exclusion in the post-socialist societies of Central and Eastern Europe. Her recent studies have addressed issues of structural transformation and the emergence of the post-socialist welfare states. During the past two decades, she has been involved in a great number of cross-country comparative studies, such as Ethnic Differences in Education and Diverging Prospects for Urban Youth in an Enlarged Europe (for which she acted as Principal Researcher), Class, Gender and Ethnicity in Crossnational Comparison; Gender and Development: Ten Years After Beijing; The European Roma: Theorising Marginality,Resistance and Integration; Gender Equality, Cultural Diversity: European Comparisons and Lesson; Multi-disciplinary and Cross-national Approaches to Romany Studies; Reducing Early School Leaving in Europe (RESL.eu); and Solidarity in European Societies: Empowerment, Social Justice and Citizenship (SOLIDUS). She has been affiliated with a great number of acknowledged research centers in Europe and the United States, including  Stockholm University, University of Glasgow, University of London, Nuffield College, Free University – Amsterdam, IWM–Vienna, Collegium Budapest, University of Wisconsin, Georgetown University, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD). In recognition of her work, she was awarded by the Scientific Board of the Soros Foundation (“Creativity Award” – 2003), the President of Hungary (2004), and, twice, the Hungarian Sociological Association (“Polanyi Award” – 2005, 2015). On the basis of her achievements in comparative social studies, she was elected by the United Nations to serve as a Member of the Board of UNRISD (Geneva) between 2009 and 2015. In 2019, she has been elected as a Member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

Select recent English-language publications:

Julia Szalai 2014 'Fragmented social rights in Hungary's postcommunist welfare state', In: A.Evers an A-M. Guillemard (eds.) Social policy and Citizenship. The Changing Landscape. Oxford - New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 283-305.

Julia Szalai and Claire Schiff (eds.) 2014 Migrant, Roma and Post-Colonial Youth in Education across Europe. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Júlia Szalai 2014. ‘Roma marginalization and exclusion in a comparative perspective’. In: J. Szalai and V. Zentai (eds.): Faces and Causes of Roma Marginalization in Local Contexts: Hungary, Romania, Serbia. Budapest: Center for Policy Studies, Central European University, pp. 127-167.

Júlia Szalai and Mihály Laki 2015 Ten Years After. Hungarian Grand Entrepreneurs in the European Union. Budapest: MTA RKKT.

Julia Szalai  2016  ‘Informality and the Invisibility of Roma Political Participation’, Intersections, Vol.2, No.2, pp.159-182.

Szalai, J., Svensson, S. and Vince, D. 2017 Contested forms of solidarity: An overview of civil society organisations in Hungary and their impact on policy and the social economy. CPS Working Paper Series 2017/1. Budapest: Center for Policy Studies, Central European University.

Julia Szalai and Agnes Kende 2018 'Pathways to early school leaving in Hungary: ethnicised inequalities and the case of Roma youth' In:L.van Praag, Ch. Timmermann et al. (eds.) Comparative Perspectives on Early School Leaving in the European Union. London New - York: Routledge, pp. 33-47.

Julia Szalai and Svensson, Sara 2018 ‘On civil society and the social economy in Hungary, Intersections, Vol. 4., No. 4, pp. 107-124.

Julia Szalai 2020 ‘The Impact of Multi-faceted Segregation on Roma Collective Identity and Citizenship Rights’. In: A. Kóczé and  H. van Baar (eds.) The Roma and Their Struggle for Identity in Contemporary Europe. Oxford: Berghahn Books, pp. 85-103.


sociologist, PhD in Sociology (1986)
Doctor of Science (DSc) in Sociology (2007)
Member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (2019)

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Projects led by Julia Szalai


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