Tuesday 16 October 2018, 18:30 - 20:00

Does Totalitarianism Exist? The Czechoslovak Experience

Muriel Blaive, Senior Fellow at the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna

Auditorium A2
Maison de la paix, Geneva

Paradoxically enough considering the country’s long communist history, there is no lively debate around the notion of totalitarianism in today’s Czech Republic. It is entangled with that of “totalita”, an ad hoc word that points to the powerlessness, and therefore the moral exoneration, of the Czechoslovak citizens in the advent and durability of the communist regime. Muriel Blaive will reflect on this crucial “hidden transcript” (James Scott) in Czech memory politics, as well as on a meaningful absence, that of epistemological reflection after 1989 on how to deal with the communist past.

Photo Skoda 2.jpg Muriel Blaive is currently EURIAS Senior Fellow at the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna, Austria and is based at the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes in Prague. She is a socio-political historian of postwar, communist, and post-communist Central Europe, in particular of Czechoslovakia and the Czech Republic. She graduated from the Institut d'études politiques in Paris and wrote her PhD in history at EHESS in Paris. Her most recent publications include her edited volume Perceptions of Society in Communist Europe. Regime Archives and Popular Opinion, London, Bloomsbury Academic, 2018 (forthcoming).

Organised as part of the Institute's cooperation programme with the Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen, funded by the Swiss State Secretariat for Education, Research, and Innovation (SERI).