January 11, 2018 - Agnieszka Pikulicka-Wilczewska
What did the Czechs give Europe? It would be much easier to answer this question if we knew what Europe is. If we think of it as the European Union, then the Czechs might be seen, for instance in Timothy Snyder’s view, as simply one of “ancient Habsburg peoples who abandoned great national projects of the 19th century in order to embrace the European idea of the 21st century”. Similar to other countries in the region, the Czech Republic, is a country too small to be able to conceive the notion of a sovereign existence; too poor in resources and educated elite to be able to survive in the times of globalisation; they aim for unification [since today] the indication of national success is not an independent state but EU membership, Snyder wrote in 2008.
October 31, 2017 - Aleksander Kaczorowski
ZBIGNIEW ROKITA: When did the post-war contacts between Polish and Czechoslovak opposition start?
MIROSŁAW JASIŃSKI: They started as early as 1948, when the communists took power in Czechoslovakia. That was the same year as the first meeting of Czechoslovak national socialists and the Polish People’s Party. In the next decades their co-operation included different areas: meetings at the highest level, smuggling literature and printing equipment, and active engagement with Polish students of the FAMU Prague Film Academy during the Prague Spring – Agnieszka Holland was among them. Artists who were banned in Czechoslovakia often had exhibitions in Poland. For decades the churches worked together and Czechoslovak priests and nuns were secretly ordained in Poland.
October 24, 2017 - Zselyke Csaky and Gergely Romsics
October 21, 2017 - Jakub Janda
TOMASZ LACHOWSKI: Lately we have witnessed an increasing popularity of populist politicians winning elections on a conservative agenda and with a relatively high support of young voters. We have seen this in our region of Central Europe – such was the case of Jarosław Kaczyński and the current-ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party in Poland as well as Marian Kotleba and the People’s Party of Our Slovakia in Slovakia. Do you see a similar tendency towards populism among young voters in the Czech Republic?
JAN ŠEREK: Without a doubt this new tendency of young people being more conservative is also visible in the Czech Republic. However, we cannot put a whole generation into one box – we need to recognise that their political behaviour and choices depend on many factors, including education. Regarding the popularity of populist movements, especially among adolescents, I have to emphasise the huge role being played by the media.
There is much talk of the rise of populism throughout Europe. It is a new specter haunting the liberal democratic order. Although often used as a label, populism is neither a coherent political ideology or programme, nor fascism pure and simple. Rather, populism is a specific form of political articulation reacting to changes in the societal consensus. It tells us that politics “as usual” needs to be renewed or fixed.
May 18, 2017 - Veronika Sušová-Salminen
An interview with Michael Žantovský, a Czech diplomat, author, the current Director of the Vaclav Havel Library and president of the Aspen Institute Prague. Interviewer: Agnieszka Pikulicka-Wilczewska.
August 4, 2016 - Michael Žantovský