This clear, objective introduction to the politics of Czechoslovakia and the successor Czech and Slovak Republics provides a comprehensive analysis of Czechoslovakia in the postcommunist period. Carol Leff builds a framework for understanding the dynamics of the "triple transition": democratization, marketization, and a national transformation that has reconfigured the dynamic between state and nation. She shows how the interaction of these three transformational agendas has shaped Czechoslovakia's development, ultimately culminating in the paradoxical disintegration of a state that most of its citizens wished to preserve. The book offers a valuable case study of a country coming back to Europe, but it also provides an opportunity for analyzing the influence of communism on what had been a significant interwar European state. The book's strong comparative element will make it invaluable as well for those seeking to understand contemporary Central and Eastern Europe.
Table of Contents
Chronology -- Introduction to a Small Country at the Crossroads of Europe -- The Historical Context of Czechoslovakia's Postcommunist Transition -- Czechoslovakia's First Experiment with Democracy: The Interwar Republic, 1918-1938 -- Czechoslovakia Under Communism -- The Domestic Politics of the Triple Transition -- The Velvet Revolution of 1989 and the Politics of Democratization -- National Identity and the Disintegration of Czechoslovakia -- Political and National Identity Transitions in the Czech and Slovak Republics -- Economic Transition in the Czech and Slovak Republics -- The International Dimensions of Domestic Transformation -- The Search for a New Security Order in International Realtions -- Domestic Reform and Integration with the West: The Triple Transition and International Relations -- Conclusion