The year 2018 calls upon us to revisit the iconic moments of Czech, or better: Czechoslovak, history. One has often noted the outstanding meaning of the momentous 8: the national independence and formation of the Czechoslovak Republic in 1918, the Munich Agreement of 1938 , the seizing of complete power by the Communist Party in 1948, the world-wide observed crushing of the ‘Prague Spring’ in 1968 and, finally, the ‘Velvet Revolution’ of 1988/89 . All of these historical dates carry an almost emblematic significance in the national context but, as Jacques Rupnik will spell out in his presentation, they also indicate significant turning points for European history.
Jacques Rupnik is Director of Research at Centre d’Etudes et de Recherches Internationales (CERI), Professor at Sciences Po in Paris and Visiting Professor at the College of Europe in Bruges.
He has been an advisor to the President of the Czech Republic, Vaclav Havel (1990-1992) and continued to work with him after that. He is a member of the board of the Vaclav Havel presidential library in Prague. Furthermore, he was an advisor to the European Commission (2007 – 2010).
The keynote speech by Jacques Rupnik is part of the workshop The Momentous ‘8’: Rethinking the “Philosophy of Czech History” , which takes place at the IWM on March 8 and 9.