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When Legislation Is Not Enough: The Adverse Environment for Independent Living in Hungary

Gabor, Petri, Agnes, Turnpenny, Aniko, Bernat (2023) When Legislation Is Not Enough: The Adverse Environment for Independent Living in Hungary. International Journal of Disability and Social Justice, 3 (1). pp. 42-59. (doi:10.13169/intljofdissocjus.3.1.0042) (KAR id:101482)


The history of disability policies in Hungary is one of legal progress since the 1990s and EU-funded investments since 2004, yet mixed outcomes for disabled people. To date this paradox remains unexplored, especially how it plays out in the lived experiences of disabled people and their families. This paper aims to fill this knowledge-gap by exploring disabled people’s experiences of independent living over the past three decades in Hungary. Based upon 53 life course interviews – 34 with disabled people and 19 with family members – we identify seven barriers to independent living in Hungary, which create an adverse environment. We also highlight a number of facilitators that help people to overcome or mitigate this adverse environment. In the conclusion, we discuss trends in Hungarian disability policies that impact opportunities for independent living. Results suggest decades of human-rights inspired legal progress has made little difference in people’s lived realities.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.13169/intljofdissocjus.3.1.0042
Uncontrolled keywords: independent living; life course interviews; post-socialism; social policy; Central and Eastern Europe; disability policy; Hungary; human rights; disability studies; disability
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare > HV1568 Disability studies
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research > Tizard
Funders: University of Kent (
Depositing User: Gabor Petri
Date Deposited: 31 May 2023 10:33 UTC
Last Modified: 02 Jun 2023 09:08 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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