In memoriam: Gyula Horváth (1951-2015)


Hungarian regional science has lost two highly regarded personalities in the national and international community of regional studies in recent years.

Academician György Enyedi, who died in September 2012, was the founder of the Hungarian school of regional science. His scientific activity extended to a wide range of social sciences particularly to regional science and geography. He was active member of several professional communities, academies, universities, associations etc. In the course of his teaching and science organising activity representatives of almost all profession became his pupils, associates or followers. Under his leadership between 1984 and 1992 became the Regional Research Centre of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences the leading scientific institution and workshop of regional studies in Hungary with high international respect. 

Gyula Horváth was a member of the school established by György Enyedi, and his follower both in his scientific and managing mentality and activity who has developed further the Hungarian regional studies. After studying economics he began his career in Pécs at the predecessor institution of the Regional Research Centre of HAS in 1974. He was a fellow of this institution for 40 years. In 1997 he was elected and named to the position of director- general. During the 14 years of his leadership the institution has strengthened and widened its theoretical work and the adaptation of achievements in the practice of regional and urban development. He was creative and productive scientist. Besides the openness to various scientific issues his special interest was the analysis of regional processes in the Central-East and East-European countries. He has 384 publications, 25 books from which 15 are in non-Hungarian language and he was the editor of 31 books which are often referred (nearly 1900 scientific references). He initiated and participated in the close co-operation of his institute with the University of Pécs, and significantly contributed to the operation of the most successful doctoral school of regional studies in Hungary. Particularly valuable was his contribution to the recognition and acceptance of regional science and regional studies in Hungary. He was not only managing successfully an institution with national network of social sciences, but abreast he organised the education, the doctoral programmes of regional studies, took care of young fellows, established and headed a professional association (the Hungarian Regional Science Association), managed the Regional Science Committee of the HAS. Today these scientific bodies are respected leaders of regional science and regional studies in Hungary still following the principles he had elaborated. He devoted high priority to international relations, particularly to support the scientific activity of transborder Hungarian workshops and research communities. He was active for the RSA, too. In 2010 he made great efforts to the success of the Annual International Conference of the RSA in Pécs, where he stimulated and promoted the high participation from the East- and East-Central-European as well as from the Balkan countries.

At the same time he was a good friend, a colleague on whom you could rely. His human attitude and professional knowledge made him directly available while he required high standard work. Though he left suddenly, his work of art is with us. The workshops of Hungarian regional science and regional studies are operating successfully against some cross-winds, and it is our duty to develop further this heritage.


Attila Korompai