Charles University, Prague/ Imre Kertész Kolleg Jena
Kristina Andělová is a PhD candidate in History at the Department of Czech History of the Charles University in Prague. She studied Central European history in Prague and Budapest. Between September 2015 and February 2016 she was a Jan Patočka Junior Visiting Fellow at the IWM in Vienna. Since 2011 she worked as a student assistant at the Institute of Contemporary History (Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic) and since June 2018 she is a research fellow here.
Beside this, she teaches MA course in Czech political thought at the Charles University in Prague and history classes in secondary school.
Research project at the Kolleg
My dissertation deals with the change of the 1970s and 1980s when Marxist and socialist political language as a language of emancipation started to fade out from both Eastern and Western political vocabulary. I focus mainly on the problem of delegitimization of Marxism and socialism among Czechoslovak intellectuals in the 1970s and 1980s and in this respect my project traces the process of intellectual “disillusion” after 1968. As Geoff Eley argues, during the 1960s the political and intellectual hegemony of socialism (and “old left”) over other leftist types of politics ended in Europe, and new types of leftisms started to gain ground into the political field. In this sense, there was a broad social and intellectual movement of the New Left that brought new revolutionary ideas. Following Eley`s argument, certain key ideas specific to Prague Spring intersected with the New Left critique, especially the critique of the state, bureaucracy and alienation, as well as ideas on direct democracy with its participatory from. Although these movements differed from each other in many aspects and they were rooted in different intellectual traditions, the key political issues - the civilization critique of modern forms of politics - remained primary intellectual motifs for both of them, leading to an intellectual effort to find new forms of political organization. In that sense, the New Left and the ideas emerging from Prague Spring converged towards formulating a new kind of leftist politics that would provide an alternative to both dominant “socialisms” of that time - Western type of social democracy and Soviet type of socialism.
The failure of these projects both in the East and in the West is not derived from one certain event (such as the Soviet invasion), but can rather be explained as a combination of many factors, social and political, as well as short and long-terms ones. It was not only New Left what did not finally succeed - throughout the 1970s and up to the 1990s, the bases for the classical kind of socialist movements dissolved in Europe.
The purpose of my dissertation is thus to provide an explanation of how these new leftist ideas were negotiated among the Czechoslovak opposition during the normalization, how they interacted with the Western political and intellectual development, how they were transformed within the Charta 77 movement (which was established and supported, among others, by many socialist thinkers and reform communists) and finally what was the reason of the political failure of socialism after 1989.
Main areas of research
Jiří Suk and Kristina Andělová eds, Jednoho dne se v našem zelináři cosi vzbouří: eseje o Moci bezmocných. (Praha: Ústav pro soudobé dějiny AV ČR, 2016).
Jiří Suk and Kristina Andělová, The Power of the Powerless and Further Havelian Paradoxes in the Stream of Time, East European Politics and Societies and Cultures 32, no. 2 (2018): 214 – 231.
Kristina Andělová: ‘Labutí píseň pražského jara’. Politické perspektivy opoziční skupiny kolem časopisu Listy po roce 1971, in: Šest kapitol o disentu, Jiří Suk et al. (Praha: Ústav pro soudobé dějiny AV ČR, 2017): 49 – 78.
Kristina Andělová, ‘Reinventing Central Europe and the Decline of Marxism: Czech “Orientalism” through the lens of Intellectual History’, in: The Power of the Norm: Fragile Rules and Significant Exeptions, ed. E. Betti, K. Miller (Vienna: IWM Junior Visiting Fellows’ Conferences Vol. 35., 2016).
Kristina Andělová andJan Mareš, Hledání radikální demokracie. Karel Kosík a filozofie (českých) dějin, , Dějiny – teorie – kritika IX, no. 1 (2014): 183-211.
Kristina Andělováand Ondřej Slačálek, Tschechiens „neue Linke“: Strömungen, Menschen, Ideen, Osteuropa no. 5-6 (2013): 341-353.