The Czech and Slovak Republics

Twenty Years of Independence, 1993-2013
$100.00 / €90.00 / £79.00
Kindle edition is available through Amazon
Publication date: 
378 pages

The essays in the book compare the Czech Republic and Slovakia since the breakup of Czechoslovakia in 1993. The papers deal with the causes of the divorce and discuss the political, economic and social developments in the new countries. This is the only English-language volume that presents the synoptic findings of leading Czech, Slovak, and North American scholars in the field.

The authors include two former Prime Ministers of the Czech Republic and Slovakia, eight leading scholars (four Czechs and four Slovaks), and eight knowledgeable commentators from North America. The most significant new insight is that in spite of predictions by various pundits in the Western World that Czechia would flourish after the breakup and Slovakia would languish, the opposite has happened. While the Czech Republic did well in its early years, it is now languishing while Slovakia, which had a rough start, is now doing very well. Anyone interested in the history of the Czech and Slovak Republics over the last twenty years will find gratification in reading this book.



M. Mark Stolarik

Part I: The Dissolution of Czechoslovakia

Chapter 1: The “Velvet Split” of Czechoslovakia (1989–1992)
Jan Rychlík

Chapter 2: Czechoslovakia’s Dissolution Twenty Years After
Michael Kraus

Chapter 3: The Dissolution of Czechoslovakia. The Slovak Perspective
Jozef Žatkuliak and Adam Hudek

Chapter 4: The Dissolution of Czechoslovakia: The Slovak Perspective
Stanislav J. Kirschbaum

Chapter 5: The Slovak Republic After Twenty Years
Jozef Moravčík

Chapter 6: The Czech Republic After Twenty Years: Gains and Losses
Petr Pithart

Part II: Political Developments After 1993

Chapter 7: Of People, Mice and Gorillas: Slovak Politics Twenty Years After
Juraj Hocman

Chapter 8: Thinking Big About a Small Country: On Juraj Hocman’s “Of People, Mice and Gorillas”
Kevin Deegan-Krause

Chapter 9: Letting Czechoslovakia Go: Czech Political Developments Since 1993
Adéla Gjuričová

Chapter 10: Czech Political Developments Since 1993: Some Comments
Carol Skalnik Leff

Part III: Economic Developments After 1993

Chapter 11: Economic Developments in Slovakia Since 1993
Ľudovít Hallon, Miroslav Londák, and Adam Hudek

Chapter 12: To Neoliberalism and Back? Twenty Years of Economic Policy in Slovakia
John A. Gould

Chapter 13: Economic Developments in the Czech Republic, 1993–2013
Martin Pospíšil

Chapter 14: The Czech Economic Transition: From Leader to Laggard
Sharon Fisher

Part IV: Social Developments After 1993

Chapter 15: Reflections on Social Developments in Slovakia, 1993–2013
Martin Bútora and Zora Bútorová

Chapter 16: Social Developments in Slovakia after Twenty Years: The Impact of Politics
Sharon L. Wolchik

Chapter 17: Social Developments in the Czech Republic Since 1993
Oldřich Tůma

Chapter 18: Some Comments on “Social Developments in the Czech Republic”
James W. Peterson




“This volume reveals the many unresolved issues about the breakup of Czechoslovakia as well as the subsequent development of the two republics. It is an important contribution to the study of the Czech and Slovak recent past that contributes to the debates about the Velvet Divorce. The contributors to Stolarik’s volume are noted scholars, in three different fields, from Slovakia, the Czech Republic, and elsewhere, along with participants in the decision to divide Czechoslovakia in 1993. Their analyses of the events are both refreshing and thought provoking.”
"Growing out of a conference held at the University of Ottawa in 2013, M. Mark Stolarik’s edited volume brings together the work of scholars from North America and the Czech and Slovak Republics. The conference and subsequent publication had two main goals: to reevaluate the “Velvet Divorce,” the peaceful agreement that led to Czechoslovakia’s split, and to compare the post-divorce trajectories of the two independent states. Stolarik’s comprehensive introduction names the “debate over issues of individual agency and deeper political structures” as the most striking theme of the volume. The authors analyze the split’s main causes and question its inevitability by exploring the emergence of nationalism and national identity, cultural and economic factors, political elites, and public opinion. The chapters represent a wide array of disciplinary approaches, including history, economics, political science, sociology, and law. In addition... more