This week's editor

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Adam Ramsay is co-editor of OurKingdom.

Notes from the Prague underground, part 2

Part 2 of an interview around Roger Scruton's new novel, Underground Notes. The contrast between Prague in the early 1980s and Washington in the late 2000s is the backdrop for a reflection on the nature of love, freedom and necessity

Notes from the Prague underground, part 1

Part 1 of an interview around Roger Scruton's new novel, Underground Notes. Czechoslovakia in the early 1980s is the backdrop for an exploration of a conservative existentialism. 

A reflection on Czech Euroscepticism before the EU elections

Euroscepticism seems to be a constant in the Czech political landscape. How will this reluctance toward the EU affect the upcoming European elections? Euro elections landscape, 2014.

Britain’s Gypsy moral paranoia

If only the politicians and journalists would try to understand a bit more not only the lives of Roma migrants, but also the poverty conditions and structural inequalities in which so many different groups of people live in Britain today.  

Who holds power after the Czech elections?

The ANO party of billionaire Andrej Babis came a close second in last month's Czech elections. Is the political life of the Czech Republic about to be berlusconised?

Post-election Prague: a new Czech EU policy?

For the EU, the Czech Republic has long been Britain's partner in trouble. But the victory of a more Europe-friendly left in the recent elections might signal a radical new turn for Czech foreign policy.

A Czech election with consequences

With a number of new parties seeking to win seats and an anticipated victory of the left, the upcoming parliamentary elections in the Czech Republic might lead to the biggest change in the country's political map since the 1989 revolution.

Program, May 2013

Programme of the Prague Press Forum 2013  

Sunday 12 May 

Evening, 20.00 

Dinner   (get-together) 

Venue: Strahov, Klasterni restaurace, Strahovske nadvori 302, Prague 1 


Monday 13 May 

Czech Republic: when a political scandal is a sign of better times

In June, PM Petr Necas and his cabinet resigned after a major political scandal. In spite of the current uncertainty and power play between political parties, may this also be a sign that democratic accountability and the rule of law have finally come to the young republic?

China may be far away but Foxconn is on our doorstep

Drawing on support from permissive governments, multinational manufacturer Foxconn has set up shop in Central Europe. Yet the transitory nature of the many migrant workers employed in these factories will have serious consequences for the future of labour in Europe.

Russian vodka and Czech crown jewels

Despite his vow to uplift Czech political life, new president Milos Zeman made no excuses for his 'tired and emotional' appearance at a highly symbolic state event. His call for closer ties with Russia have raised further concerns in a traditionally anti-Russian society.

EU flag over Prague Castle

Milos Zeman, the new president of the Czech Republic, has clearly distanced himself from the Eurosceptic views of his predecessor. Yet, a recent standoff with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs shows unexpected tension over foreign policy might be just around the corner.

Reconstructing the Czech state

While clientelism, corruption and nepotism are still an ailing element of post-communist political reality in the Czech Republic, a new civic initiative seeks to bring more transparency and accountability to the Czech state. Can it succeed?

Czech presidential vote: a society divided

This Saturday's election saw the victory of former PM Milos Zeman over current Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg. The duel between a decried populist and an old-school aristocrat revealed a division previously unseen in modern Czech society.

After the election, Czech political transformation is not over yet

On Saturday, the Czechs elected Miloš Zeman, an important figure of the democratic transition of the 1990s, to be their new president. Although this role is mostly a symbolic one, expectations were high for a change in public policy. Are Czech voters bound to be disappointed?

Czech nuclear power in the shadow of geopolitics

The upgrade of Temelin, a nuclear power station, has become the backdrop of a power struggle between the Unites States and Russia. Worryingly, a discussion on Czech energy policy is being silenced by the competition of foreign strategic interests.

There and back again? Media freedom and autonomy in Central and Eastern Europe

Collusion between the press and politicians is not confined to western Europe. Central and Eastern European countries are also plagued by their own mini-Murdochs – and in these more fragile democracies, they represent an even bigger threat.

What to expect from the Czech presidential election

For the first time in their history, Czech citizens will directly elect their president next year, to replace the notoriously Eurosceptic incumbent Vaclav Klaus. The stakes are high in this election, for it will be a large-scale stress test for Czech democracy and European integration in Central Europe.

Failing Roma, again

Roma need to become respected but also responsible citizens in their own countries. There are solutions. But none of those solutions are immediate or cheap.

A tableau for Václav Havel

Vaclav Havel

Tjebbe van Tijen presents a montage of graffiti and photographs in honour of Václav Havel

‘Mr former Havel': the kind of politician we need

Warm memories pay tribute to Vaclav Havel who died today

Milan Kundera and the Invisible Tribunal

A recurring idea in the work of Milan Kundera is that the spirit of totalitarianism lives on in our mass media. In a world without privacy, will we all be perpetually on trial?

East European Geographobia

There are particularities of fear in a post-communist Europe bewildered by the demands of neoliberalism, which also tap into a legacy of aversion matured during Communism.

Are media relations in central and eastern Europe being Berlusconised?

The ideal of business, media and political separation is never fully achieved. But the trend in Central and Eastern Europe seems to be towards a worrying degradation. A podcast conversation with accompanying presentation.

Science funding: what would Patocka say?

The philosopher Jan Patočka is something of a national hero in the Czech Republic, and deservedly so. A teacher of Vaclav Havel, he was, in addition to one of the most important Central-European thinkers of the twentieth century, a martyr to the struggle for freedom in the Czech Republic during Communist rule. In 1977, at the age of 70, he died from a brain haemorrhage after a prolonged police interrogation.

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