Irreconcilable Differences?: Explaining Czechoslovakia's Dissolution / Edition 1

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This unique volume brings together a multi-disciplinary group of scholars as well as Czech and Slovak decisionmakers who were personally involved in the events leading up to the separation of Czechoslovakia. Asking whether the dissolution was inevitable, the contributors bring a range of different approaches and perspectives to bear on the twin problems of democratic transitions in multinational societies and ethnic separatism and its origins. The blend of analysis and insider experiences will make this book invaluable for all concerned with nationalism and ethnicity, democratization, and transitions in Eastern Europe.
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Editorial Reviews

Walker Connor
Why did the dismemberment of Czechoslovakia occur and how did it take place without violence? With an approach that is at once imaginative, comprehensive, and effective, Kraus and Stanger juxtapose explanations advanced by several scholars with the insider views offered by leading political figures—both Czech and Slovak—who participated in the process. The resulting tour de force represents indispensable reading for all who are interested in the comparative study of nationalism and separatism.
Jacques Rupnik
Amidst an avalanche of books on the violent breakup of Yugoslavia, this is the first comprehensive study of the peaceful divorce of Czechoslovakia. It provides a rare combination of perspectives from both sides of the divide and puts them in a broader comparative framework. Neither a lament on how Czechoslovakia could have been 'saved' nor, making virtue out of necessity, the discovery of a 'model' for future candidates for 'separation with a human face' in Canada or Belgium, this work provides a clear, informed, and thoughtful assessment of the dissolution of a European state.
Gordon Skilling
Excellent. . . . A significant contribution to the literature on transition and on the disintegration of states in the contemporary world.
This book has the merit of being the most comprehensive discussion of Czechoslovakia's fate. Therefore this volume should be of interest to those who wish to move beyond the surface of the phenomenon.
International Affairs
The contributors make the debates comprehensible and accessible. The editors' excellent introduction not only contextualizes the issues in the split, but also gives unity to the many chapters. The utility of this book naturally extends far beyond the study of former Czechoslovakia to the general and vexing phenomenon of nationalism and ethnic conflict resolution.
Slavic Review
A richly textured contribution to our understanding of one of the milestones in Slovak-Czech relations and one of the hallmarks of the 1990s in east central Europe. Much of the analysis is of an extremely high quality, the contributors are among the top experts on the issue, and a diversity of viewpoints is presented. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in Czech, Slovak, or Czechoslovak history, in eastern Europe’s transition in the 1990s, and in the thorny problems of interethnic relations, of which those of the Czechs and Slovaks, on account of their peaceful divorce, are unique.
This is an excellent book.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780847690213
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 7/28/2000
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 5.86 (w) x 8.94 (h) x 0.81 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Kraus is professor and chair of the Department of Political Science, Middlebury College. Allison Stanger is associate professor of political science and director of the international politics and economics program, Middlebury College.
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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Foreword Chapter 2 Past as a Prologue Chapter 3 Contending Views of Czechoslovakia's Demise Part 4 Part I: Legacies of the Past Chapter 5 Inevitability, Probability, Possibility: The Legacies of the Czech-Slovak Relationship, 1918-1989, and the Disintegration of the State Chapter 6 The Possibilities for Czech-Slovak Compromise, 1989-1992 Part 7 Part II: Institutional Challenges and Constitutional Controversies Chapter 8 From "Velvet Revolution" to "Velvet Split": Consociational Institutions and the Disintegration of Czechoslovakia Chapter 9 The Impact of Institutional Factors on the Breakup of the Czechoslovak Federation Chapter 10 Electoral Rules and the Fate of Nations: Czechoslovakia's Last Parliamentary Elections Chapter 11 The Price of Velvet: Constitutional Politics and the Demise of the Czechoslovak Federation Part 12 Part III: Media, Economic, and International Factors Chapter 13 Failing Democracy: Journalists, the Mass Media, and the Dissolution of Czechoslovakia Chapter 14 Explaining Czechoslovakia's Dissolution: Assesing Economic performance Before and After the Breakup Chapter 15 The End of Czechslovakia: International Forces and Factors Part 16 Part IV: The View from the Ground: Czech and Slovak Perspectives Chapter 17 A Retrospective Look at the Dissolution of Czechoslovakia Chapter 18 The Division/Dissolution of Czechoslovakia: Old Sins and New Forms of Selfishness Chapter 19 A Comment on Carnogursk? and Pithart Chapter 20 Fragments from the Dividing of Czechoslovakia Chapter 21 Domestic and International Aspects of the Czechoslovak State's Crisis and End Chapter 22 Czechoslovakia After 1989: The Reasons for the Division Chapter 23 Notes on the Role of Television in Czechoslovakia's Dissolution Part 24 Part V: Czechoslovakia's Dissolution in Comparative Perspective Chapter 25 On Ethnic Conflicts and their Resolution Chapter 26 Lessons from the Breakup of Czechoslovakia Chapter 27 Appendix: Narrative Chronology of the Czech-Slovak Conflict, 1990-1992
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