The Struggle for the Nation: The Images of Munich in the Discords about the Czech Foreign Policy

  • Ondřej Slačálek
Keywords: The Munich analogy, Václav Havel, depolitization, discourse analysis, symbolical center


The article is an analysis of the metaphor of Munich Agreement in the Czech political and media discourses concerning three foreign policy issues from the last three years: the discord about the diplomatic recognition of Kosovo by the Czech Republic, the discussion of the conflict between Russia and Georgia and the issue of the US radar base in the Czech Republic. The text does not aspire to judge which usage of the analogy with Munich is correct. Instead, it works with it as a specific frame which is intended to mobilize a presupposed national ‘us’ for a specific political agenda. The goal is to depoliticize the political discord – to solve it by referring to a morally strong precedent and subordinate it to this precedent. Munich is used in this way by the followers of very different political camps. Using the analogy of Munich has two main modalities – the interventionist modality (it is necessary to intervene against a dictator, not to appease him) and the sovereignist modality (it is necessary to defend the sovereignty of the state against an intervention or against aggressive demands of minorities). The former is more in accord with the use of the Munich analogy by Western politicians, while the latter corresponds more with the Czech context.

Author Biography

Ondřej Slačálek



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