Despite its emergence from one of the more repressive communist states, and the prompt dissolution of Czechoslovakia in 1992, the new Czech Republic successfully democratized, marketized, and integrated into the complex of European institutions. In 2017, the Czech year-end growth rate of 5.5 percent led the OECD countries in Eastern Europe, and the Bertelsman Transformation index of 2018 ranked the Czech Republic as the leading consolidated democracy and market economy of the 129 countries ranked. This performance, however, masks some significant unresolved problems. This chapter explores the evolution of the Czech post-communist regime in three stages. The first part unpacks some important historical legacies of the multiple regimes the Czech Republic experienced in the twentieth century - parliamentary democracy in the interwar First Republic, the Nazi protectorate in World War Two, and the communist state. Attention then turns to the institutional framework for democratic decision-making. The final step is to analyze the broad political process under this system, emphasizing some of the distinctive dynamics that have created accountability problems in Czech politics and left some key problems still to resolve, not least the Czech version of Europe’s populist nationalist problem.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Sciences(all)