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The first interest in the social dimension of law emerged in Hungary under the influence of Henry Sumner Maine (1822–1888). From 1900 to 1919, progressive academic and political movements were organized around the Huszadik Század (Twentieth Century Journal), which emphasized the importance of social relations for the understanding of law, primarily under the influence of Herbert Spencer (1820–1903). After the collapse of the monarchy, the prevailing mood in Hungary turned conservative and the elite who discussed law were primarily interested in eclectic neo-Kantianist and legal positivist views.

Sociological interest was preserved even at the university level however, thanks to Barna Horváth (1896–1973), who was the first to carry out an empirical survey on public attitudes toward law observance in the early 1940s. Partly because of the ...

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