The Czech Republic: Still in Transition? The difficult voyage from Communism to European Union - to today

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Wednesday, October 17, 2012
12:00 p.m.
1210 Heller Hall

Thumbnail image for dlai_KlvanaTomas.jpgTwenty-two years ago Czechoslovakia launched itself on a journey towards a free and democratic society. Under the motto Back to Europe, people expressed their desire to recapture the interrupted tradition of excellence, openness and toleration that characterized the first Czechoslovak Republic of 1918-1938.

Led by the visionary President, Václav Havel, the Czech Republic has reached important milestones, joining NATO and the EU. The largely successful transformation can be used as a model for the closed societies such as Cuba and Iran, or the ones in early transition, such as the Arabic countries in the aftermath of the Arab revolutions. In general, the experience of Central Europe, with its successes and failures, is a useful, albeit limited tool in all attempts to calibrate transition from a close to an open society.

Dr. Klvana's career spans from being the student leader during the velvet revolution that toppled the Communist Government, to being an important journalist, public official, and now major proponent of non-profit civil society. His work with the Zdenek Bakala Global Non-Profit Programs oversees several projects, including the Vaclav Havel Presidential Library and the newly established branch of the Aspen Institute on whose Board of Directors he serves as Vice President.

He is lecturer at the New York University in Prague. He worked as press secretary and policy adviser to President of the Czech Republic, Vaclav Klaus, and in 2007-08 was a special Government Communication Envoy for the Missile Defense Program. In 2001-03 Dr. Klvana was Deputy Editor-in-chief of Hospodarske Noviny (a leading Czech daily) and in 2000-01 a senior international commentator for the Czech daily newspaper Mlada Fronta Dnes. In 2011 Dr. Klvana published his literary debut, a novel "Marina, A Russian Story" in Czech by Paseka Press. Dr. Klvana serves on the Board of Directors of Economia Publishing, a leading Czech media organization, and also on Board of ther Harvard Club in Prague, and is a member of the Czech Euroatlantic Council.

In 2012 he was awarded the prestigious Distinguished Leadership Award for Internationals from the University of Minnesota, where he earned his PhD degree in Speech Communication 1997. He also holds an MA degree in journalism from the Charles University in Prague. In 2003 he was a Shorenstein Fellow at Harvard University Kennedy School. Dr. Klvana publishes a blog in Czech in which he analyses international relations for leading Czech media. He frequently participates in international conferences.

Sponsored by: Global Studies, Austrian Studies, European Studies Consortium, History, Global Programs and Strategy Alliance.

For more information contact Katie Evans.

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This page contains a single entry by esc published on October 5, 2012 1:29 PM.

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