The transformation process from an authoritarian/totalitarian system entails many institutional changes, however, the individual citizen is often being overlooked in this chaotic, fast-paced process and his or her “transformation” into a democrat is taken for granted. The changing socio-political system and its exigencies may lead to nostalgia and social frustrations, which in turn cause democratic backsliding. In order to cultivate a democratic society and avoid future backsliding, the post-communist states quickly set out to reform their educational systems, both in form and substance. By reviewing the reform process of the Czech educational system and discussing the prevailing legacies left by the communist regime, the article will show that through the “destruction” of the former system and its de-monopolization, decentralization and de-ideologization, the state deliberately lost significant means and power to transform Czechs from “homo sovieticus” to “homo democraticus” and is now left with a dependence on the highly autonomous schools and their propensity to foster democratic generations that will uphold the democratic state in the future. This paradox is reminiscent of the so-called Böockenföorde dilemma, claiming that the liberal democratic state “lives by prerequisites which it cannot guarantee itself”.

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