Czechoslovakia: Revival and Retreat

  • Archie Brown
  • Gordon Wightman


Any comprehensive attempt to understand political change within Czechoslovakia in the Communist period, and, in particular, the reformist trends of the nineteen-sixties, which culminated in the events of 1968, would involve a study of developments within Czechoslovak society and a detailed examination of the tendencies and conflicts within the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia.1 To appreciate the preconditions of these changes, however, we must delve deeper into Czechoslovak history and culture than that. The two major contexts in which changing attitudes and practices within the Czechoslovak Communist Party, and the constraints upon them, have to be understood are, on the one hand, the political cultures of Czechs and Slovaks and, on the other, the geopolitical environment in which Czechoslovakia is situated. While it is thus clear at the outset that we are not suggesting that political change in Czechoslovakia can be explained entirely in terms of political culture, we shall argue that analysis of the political culture is an essential part of an adequate explanation of change in Czechoslovakia after 1956 and especially in the period from 1963 until the late summer of 1968 when the trends were arrested by outside intervention.2


Communist Party Political Culture Party Leadership Political Socialisation Political Pluralism 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 3.
    Robert J. Kerner, ‘The Czechoslovaks from the Battle of the White Mountain to the World War‘, in Kemer (ed.), Czechoslovakia (Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1940) p.45.Google Scholar
  2. 4.
    R. W. Seton-Watson, A History of the Czechs and Slovaks (London, 1943) p. 281.Google Scholar
  3. 10.
    Vĕra Olivová, The Doomed Democracy: Czechoslovakia in a Disrupted Europe, 1914–1938 (London, 1972) p.175.Google Scholar
  4. 11.
    K. Bartślek, ‘Československlá společnost a revoluce’ in Ceskoslovenská revoluce v letech 1944–1948 (Prague, 1966) p. 17.Google Scholar
  5. 12.
    Vojtéch Mencl, ‘K néktery‘m zkušenostem z období buržoazní předmnichovské republiky’ in Československá revoluce v letech 1944–1948 (Prague, 1966) pp. 73–6.Google Scholar
  6. 24.
    Miroslav Šole, Pravda (Bratislava), 25 August 1971.Google Scholar
  7. 28.
    Cf. Sidney Verba, ‘Comparative Political Culture’ in Pye and Verba, Political Culture and Political Development (Princeton, 1965) p. 555.Google Scholar
  8. 37.
    Alex Pravda, Reform and Change in the Czechoslovak Political System: January–August 1968 op. cit., p. 7.Google Scholar
  9. 40.
    Jan Procházka, Učitelské noviny7 March 1968.Google Scholar
  10. 42.
    Jaroslaw A. Piekalkiewicz, Public Opinion Polling in Czechoslovakia, 1968–69 op. cit., pp. 247–9.Google Scholar
  11. 62.
    Jiří Pelikán (ed.), The Czechoslovak Political Trials, 1950–1934 (London, 1971)p.9.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Archie Brown and Gordon Wightman 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Archie Brown
  • Gordon Wightman

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations