The Seminar started in 2002 as a Research Seminar and has kept its character ever since. The Seminar has been led by Márton Szabó, most of the members are his former or current students. Most of the participants are political scientists, however, there is a sociologist, a psychologist, a literary scholar and a historian. Undergraduate and graduate students as well as young researchers participate in the work of the Seminar. The permanent participants of the Seminar are at the same time members of the Centre for Political Discourse Studies.

The aim of the Discursive Seminar is to familiarise the participants with the basic questions and main representatives of the discursive method and with the methodology of scientific research in general, to enable them to carry out individual research, write and publish scientific works of high quality.

There have been a number of major phases in the history of the Seminar.

In the beginning, the participants discussed their current projects, most of which were later published.

In the second phase, each participant tried to identify his or her relation to the discursive method in shorter or longer pieces of writing. Some of these writings can be found on the archive pages.

The third phase started at the end of 2003. The participants decided to set up an empirical research project whose subject was Fidesz - Magyar Polgári Párt. In 2004, common questions and available methodologies were established from the various ideas and notions through long debates. We started an intensive and multi-faceted research project with the working title "Fidesz-reality." The project was supported by OTKA, and the members of the Centre presented their results at a scientific conference, followed by the publication of a collection of essays.

The fourth phase commenced after the end of the Fidesz project. Its aim was to introduce a few current European theoretical approaches. Emilia Palonen held a short course of eight classes about the works of the two significant theoreticians of the Essex discursive school: Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe. This was followed by a course of three classes by Zoltán Gábor Szűcs on the works of Kari Palonen. The short courses were open to the public and were visited, in addition to the members of the Seminar, by university students and fellows of Collegium Budapest. The course on Chantal Mouffe was conducted in English.

2006 was an important year in the life of the Seminar. Members of the Seminar gave presentations in a separate session at the regional meeting of the Hungarian Political Science Association in June. In September, they participated in a three-day Finnish-Hungarian seminar, where they gave presentations of their research topics in English. These presentations were published in a collection of working papers.

The next phase in the work of the Seminar has started in September 2006, and it has two basic directions. On the one hand, more emphasis has been laid on PhD dissertations in progress: members have been preparing a number of progress reports. On the other hand, a new, common research project has been outlined, with the title "The boundaries of politics."

The venue of the Seminar is Márton Szabó's room at the Institute for Political Sciences of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. Participants gather at 2.30 PM on Tuesdays and usually stay until 5-6 PM. They discuss a paper that is distributed a few days beforehand - or as the participants themselves often say - "they have a nice chat." There are eight to ten meetings per semester. The interested visitor can find a few pictures of these meetings on this website. Since the Seminar is open to everybody, outsiders often participate in addition to regular members.