Department of Late- / Post-Socialism
The department studies political, social and cultural transformations that have taken place in the Czech and Czechoslovak society during the last three decades. It crosses the conventional border of the year 1989, which unproductively separates the historiography of state socialism from the social science reflection of the post-socialist period. It historicizes today´s principal topics (parliamentary democracy, economic transformation, consumerist capitalism, Europeanisation, environmentalism, changes of political or national identities, corruption) by looking for their sources, possibilities of evolution or limits over a longer period time, from the late socialism of the 1980s until today. Contrary to the view adopted by most social science works and publications, it emphasizes a diachronous time axis and views of different historical actors, be they individual or collective. Apart from crossing the 1989 barrier, it also attempts to reach beyond the narrow national-historical perspective, perceiving the phenomena under study as an outcome of broader (Central) European processes. Such approach not only helps historicize the 1989 democratic revolutions in Czechoslovakia and elsewhere in Central and Eastern Europe, but potentially opens new questions and views which help understand the fall of the state socialism dictatorship and the nature of the newly established democratic capitalism.