Earlier publications have contributed to my current research agenda by honing my methodological and theoretical skillset. Although they vary in their substantive topics, what connects these papers is a focus on outlining boundary conditions of individual and organizational strategic behavior.

Comparing the discussion networks and voluntary association memberships of immigrants and non-immigrants in U.S. suburban gateways

Immigration, discussion networks and voluntary associations

with Pam Popielarz


Using survey data from five Chicago (U.S.) suburbs, we build regression models comparing the social lives of immigrants and non-immigrants. We define immigration several ways (citizenship, legal status, immigrant generation, length of time in U.S., and race/ethnicity). Results indicate that the size, longevity and density of immigrants’ discussion networks are mostly comparable to those of non-immigrants, as are the number and longevity of their voluntary association memberships. Immigrants and non-immigrants differ little in geographic location of their network confidants and organizational memberships. However, there is less racial/ethnic variety in immigrants’ social lives, particularly if they are Latinx or not citizens.


Read the paper in Social Networks

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Trend: no change

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Within-group variance

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An open elite in Hungary? High office holders in the 18th century

Lawrence Stone's "open elite is dead" thesis replicates in a different empirical context

with István Szijártó


A quantitative analysis of the highest office holders of the Kingdom of Hungary from 1700 to 1800 suggests that although the 18th-century emergence of a “new aristocracy,” a Hungarian noblesse de robe is a well-documented process, widely discussed in the historical discourse, it would be a mistake to think that the new office holder aristocracy, emerging in Maria Theresa’s reign immediately took over the highest elite positions wielding substantive power. In this sense, there was no “changing of the guard” throughout most of the 18th century. The top elite were mainly recruited from the old aristocratic families until the 1770s. Besides the fact that these families held most of the positions, there was at most a natural process of elite renewal going on; but the elite was no way exchanged until the latest years of the reign of Maria Theresa. Only then and during the reign of Joseph II could the new aristocracy and lesser nobles in significant numbers take over top elite positions.


Read the paper in Journal of Social History

Measuring identity change: 

analyzing fragments from a diary with social-network analysis

Spatially fragmented social networks

contribute to effective political brokerage

The theoretical portion of the analysis presented in this article builds on identity theory (IT), which argues that identities are embedded in, and affected by social-network contexts. It aims to map and measure the alteration of the social network of Sa´ndor Ka´rolyi, an eighteenth-century Hungarian aristocrat, so as to make the identity change intelligible. Since the absence of wars during the period examined provides a social space where social relations are ‘standing still’, a detailed scrutiny of the social ties of the aristocrat is feasible based on his daily diary entries between 1725 and 1734. First, I will elaborate on how the newly gained rank and prestige contributed to the aristocrat’s emerging credit-worthiness and subsequently led to successful property acquisitions. Then, building on the fragmentation hypothesis, I will discuss how the spatially fragmented social networks of Hungarian nobles are in connection with a new type of emergence in social positions at this period that was initiated by the centralising neoabsolutist endeavour of the Empire. Finally, I will generalise about the consequences of this ‘exceptional normal’ case on the macro level.


Read the paper in European Review of History

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Spatial fragmentation

Evolving social network

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Political brokerage

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Ideal types


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Local government corruption in Hungary

A study of corruption situations and mechanisms

with Zoltán Szántó and István János Tóth


We focused on studying actual corruption situations and mechanisms rather than investigating perceptions about corruption or surveying opinions about corruption. We believe that both the interviews and media content analysis on corruption cases that were undertaken give us the potential to identify typical corruption situations, typical players in corruption games and their typical types of motivation. During the research, our attention turned to the local government as a pivotal level to be investigated. In this chapter, we offer a detailed analysis in order to establish a general picture of the sophisticated structure and actual penetration of different local government corruption mechanisms. We do believe that a profound knowledge of actual corruption situation is an essential prerequisite for creating solid types and mechanism anti-corruption measures (for example, changing regulations or the institutional environment) both at the national and at the local level.


Read the book chapter in Local Economies and Global Competitiveness