Department of the History of Ideas and Conceptual History
The department is based in general on the methodology of intellectual history, the history of concepts and the history of science. It looks at the development of thinking about state, politics and society, as well as at the transformation and development of science. The emphasis is on the development of political, social and scientific thinking from 1945 to the present. However, given the medium-term nature of the subject matter, the research also often touches on ‘older’ periods of modern or more recent history. The different stages of Marxist ideology and its changes and the types of ‘governance’ in state socialism (from orthodoxy to revisionism or reform movement) have been among the main themes of the department’s work in recent years. Furthermore, the department deals with processes of ‘expertisation of governing’ and the increase in the influence of technocracy, as well as with the development of alternative ideas of ‘counterculture’ and dissension as preconditions to the 1989 democratic revolution. Last, but not least, the historical analysis of the adoption and establishment of (neo-) liberal concepts locally before and after 1989 are among the most important research topics.
The Centre for the History of Sciences and Humanities is a section of the department that addresses the history of modern Czech and Czechoslovak science on a long-term basis. Some basic topics of particular interest are the professionalisation, institutionalisation and internationalisation of science, and the development of the various branches of science and scientific thinking in general from the 19th century to the present.