The depoliticisation of civil society in post-communism
Speaker: Ondřej Horký-Hlucháň
Date: Thursday, 28 March 2013
Venue: CCS Seminar Room 601, 6th Floor, MTB Tower, Howard College
Topic: Since the fall of the Iron Curtain, the post-communist countries in Central Europe have undergone a shift from the authoritarian and socialist East to the periphery of the democratic and neoliberal West. After the abandon of the ideologically discredited support of the Third World after 1989, they also espoused the Western approach to the global South based on export, investment and development cooperation. The seminar focuses on the role of the Czech civil society in depoliticising the relations between the North and South in the post-communist context and the impacts of the professionalisation of the civil society on domestic politics. While acknowledging the different historical developments of South Africa and Central Europe, the pertaining problems of human rights abuse, environmental destruction, low political accountability and the adoption of neoliberalism by the new democratic elites reveal interesting similitudes between the post-apartheid and post-communist contexts.
Speaker: Ondřej Horký-Hlucháň is a research fellow at the Institute of International Relations in Prague, Czech Republic. His main research interest concerns development cooperation of the ‘new’ member states of the European Union (he is co-editor of the book Development Policies of Central and Eastern European States: From Aid Recipients to Aid Donors published by Routledge in 2012). Besides teaching at the Charles University in Prague, he has been involved in advocacy activities with Czech development NGOs. Ondřej has been a visiting scholar at the Centre for Civil Society at UKZN since January 2013 with a new focus on global political ecology and field research on reforestation in Northern Madagascar.