Local Communities and Post-Communist Transformation: Czechoslovakia, the Czech Republic and Slovakia

By Simon Smith | Go to book overview

This period saw a revival of ideas for a political life outside, or opposed to, existing parties. Initiatives emerged, some with directly political aims but others ostensibly to create an independent discussion forum. Among the most substantial was DU+277kujeme, odejdU+277te ('Thank you, now leave'), initiated as a petition in November 1999 by former student leaders from the events of November 1989. Their call was for the then current generation of political leaders to resign. It soon claimed 150,000 signatures of support. This and other initiatives were quickly confronted with a situation that differed substantially from that of 1990. Civil society, in the sense of an informal sphere distinct from the existing structures of power, could claim a base in past traditions and could win immediate support from part of the population. Before long, however, figures leading independent initiatives were being asked about their links to existing parties, about what constructive alternatives they could propose and about whether they too might not soon be forming a party. It remains to be seen whether the partial revival of 'non-party' political activity after 1998 will prove to be a minor, temporary episode or whether the strength of past traditions and a continuing level of distrust towards the 'formal' sphere mean that it will remain a more permanent feature of Czech political life.


Bibliography

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Brokl, L., Mansfeldová, Z. and Kroupa, A. (1998) Poslanci prvního českého parlamentu (1992–96), Prague: Sociologický ústav AV ČR, working paper WP98: 5.

Coase, R. (1960) 'The problem of social cost', Journal of Law and Economics, 3: 1–44.

Cohen, J. L. and Arato, A. (1992), Civil Society and Political Theory, Cambridge, MA:MIT Press.

Cox, R. (1999) 'Civil society at the turn of the millenium', Review of International Studies, 25: 3–28.

Ferguson, A. (1966)An Essay on the History of Civil Society 1767, Edinburgh:Edinburgh University Press.

Fiala, P., Holzer, J., Mareš, M.and Pšeja, P. (1999) Komunismus v České republice, Brno: Masarykova univerzita.

Frič, P. (2000) Neziskové organizace a ovlivňování veřejné politiky (Rozhovory o neziskovém sektoru II.), Prague: Agnes.

Friedman, M. (1962) Capitalism and Freedom, Chicago:University of Chicago Press.

Havel, V. (1988) 'Anti-political politics', in Keane, J. (ed.) Civil Society and the State, London: Verso: 391–8.

Havelka, M. (1998) 'Nepolitická politika: kontexty a tradice', Sociologickýčasopis, 34: 455–66.

Hayek, F. (1944) The Road to Serfdom, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.

Hayek, F. (1984) 1980s Unemployment and Unions, London: Institute for Economic Affairs.

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Local Communities and Post-Communist Transformation: Czechoslovakia, the Czech Republic and Slovakia
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Basees/Routledgecurzon Series on Russian and East European Studies ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Tables vii
  • Contributors ix
  • Preface xi
  • Acknowledgements xv
  • 1 - Sociological Readings of Post-Communist Lifeworlds 1
  • Notes 13
  • Bibliography 14
  • 2 - Civil Society and Political Parties in the Czech Republic 19
  • Bibliography 39
  • 3 - Agents for Community Self-Determination? Experiences of Local Actors 41
  • Notes 85
  • Bibliography 89
  • 4 - The Slovak Union of Nature and Landscape Conservationists 92
  • Notes 103
  • 5 - Electronics Industry Workers in Slovakia 1995–2000 105
  • Notes 123
  • Bibliography 124
  • 6 - Case Studies from the Electronics Industry 126
  • Notes 141
  • 7 - The Czech Republic 1990–2000 143
  • Notes 158
  • Bibliography 159
  • 8 - Civic Potential as a Differentiating Factor in the Development of Local Communities 161
  • Bibliography 182
  • 9 - Group Strategies of Local Communities in Slovakia Facing Social Threats 184
  • Bibliography 205
  • 10 - The Narrativisation of Social Transformation 206
  • Notes 216
  • Bibliography 218
  • Index 221
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