Muriel Blaive

University of Graz, Department of Sociology

Project Name Reckoning with dictatorship
Publication Page
Field of research History of Czechoslovakia/Czech Republic/Central Europe
Keywords Communism | Post-communism | Dealing With The Past | Czechoslovakia | Czech Republic | Justice | Writing History

Project: Reckoning with dictatorship: history, memory, and justice in the Czech Republic after 1989

When communism fell in Czechoslovakia, contemporary observers relished the feeling that the newly liberated country was “returning to Europe.” Capitalism and democracy had triumphed, and the wind of history seemed to be blowing towards progress and collective happiness. The reality was more painful. This project discusses what to do with various social actors (vetting policy, judicial measures, laws concerning the past); how to deal with the documents (archival policy, epistemology); how to write the history of communism (historiography); how to remember this period (memory studies.) Mainly, it discusses all these aspects in their mutual interaction.

It is painful to face a past in which you were involved

Muriel Blaive was an IFK Senior Fellow in Vienna (2020-21), an EURIAS Senior Fellow at the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna (2018-2019), and is otherwise based at the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes (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 (summa cum laude) at EHESS in Paris. Her most recent publications include the special issue she edited at East European Politics and Society, Writing on Communist History in Central Europe, including her article “The Reform Communist Interpretation of the Stalinist Period in Czech Historiography and its Legacy” (EEPS, online, November 2021), and her edited volume Perceptions of Society in Communist Europe. Regime Archives and Popular Opinion, London, Bloomsbury Academic, 2018.