The presented article tries to make sense of Václav Havel, a man of many qualities and professions yet not a professional in the conventional sense of the word. The aim is to offer deeper insight into diverse cognitive elements which formed Havel’s political reasoning and attitudes. The idea is to provide an alternative interpretation and get beyond the customary explanations expressed through traditional IR language seeing Havel as a dissident idealist who was pushed by some realist impulses to clearly define real political and later also geopolitical stands. In doing so, the article is divided into three parts. The first part discusses conceptual frameworks (rather than a single framework) within which Have saw and understood the political world. The middle part examines Havel’s political agenda, namely the issues of the return to Europe, the German question, and relationships with Russia, the United States and toward multilateral institutions. The final part that utilizes primary data obtained through personal interviews with many Havel’s close collaborators presents two faces of Václav Havel: the dramatist and the ideologue.
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Research Article| July 17 2013
* Corresponding author. Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic.
Communist and Post-Communist Studies (2013) 46 (3): 407–417.
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Ditrych Ondřej, Vladimír Handl, Nik Hynek, Střítecký; Understanding Havel?. Communist and Post-Communist Studies 1 September 2013; 46 (3): 407–417. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.postcomstud.2013.06.008
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