|Module Title||NATIONALISM, TOTALITARIANISM AND DEMOCRATIZATION: CZECHOSLOV|
|Co-ordinator||Dr Peter Lambert|
|Course delivery||Lecture||18 Hours|
|Essay||2 x 2,500 word essays||40%|
This module addresses the character of government, dissent and opposition in Czechoslovakia. It is concerned with five key problems. First, it expores the establishment and changing nature of Communist rule, distinguishing between the phases of Stalinism, of 'socialism with a human face' and of 'late socialism'. Second, it discusses the relationship between Czechoslovak society and its rulers, engaging with the endeavours of independent dissident movements to generate a sense of active citizenship and to 'empower the powerless' in a totalitarian state. Third, it examines the causes of the collapse of Communist rule and the problems of transition which faced Czechoslovakia after the Velvet Revolution of 1989. Fourth, it asks why - in spite of the wishes of the majority of the population - Czechoslovakia was broken up in the aftermath of Communist dictatorship. Finally, how was national identity constructed and what meanings were attached to national history in Czechoslovakia?
The module is designed to alert students to the variety of sources available to contemporary historians, and in particular to the problems historians encounter in seeking to understand closed societies in which there is no freedom of expression, and thus no such thing as public opinion. It draws on samizdat documents and literature, memoirs, and the writings of Czechoslovaks who emigrated in the aftermath of the Soviet invasion of their country in 1968.