European Studies in the Czech Republic

Report: European Academia
A new field built on Communist legacies and EU support
By Laure Neumayer

English

This article offers a case study on the emergence of a sub-field specializing in European affairs within Czech political science since the early 1990s, as a result of the scientific investments of a few “Entrepreneurs of Europe.” These scholars had a basic knowledge of European integration which was highly valued in a future EU member state. Their involvement in various forms of scientific cooperation sponsored by the European Commission has allowed them to further develop some cosmopolitan resources (knowledge of foreign languages, access to foreign literature and membership in transnational scientific networks). The impact of European integration on the Czech academic field is however limited by the legacies of the past because these “new” careers build on intellectual, academic and political capital acquired through previous work experiences, some of which date back to the communist period. The proximity between political actors and scholars which is a common feature of European studies in many EU member states is also shaped in some of them by post-Communist dynamics.

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