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Russia: The Prague Spring, 1968

 
  • About this Course
  • About this Lecturer

About this Course

In this course, Professor Kevin McDermott (Sheffield Hallam University) explores the historical events leading up to and encompassing the Prague Spring, a period of political reform and liberalisation in Czechoslovakia in 1968. We begin by examining the historical context of Czechoslovakia between 1918 and 1948, from the founding of the First Czechoslovak Republic to the rise to power of the Czechoslovak Communist party. The second module examines the political and economic development of Communist Czechoslovakia under the influence of Stalinism and explores the growing resistance to Soviet ideology among the Czechoslovak population in the 1950s. We then move on in module three to discuss the Prague Spring Reforms under Alexander Dubček in the first eight months of 1968. Module four concludes the course with an examination of the reasons that eventually led the Soviet leadership to invade Czechoslovakia in August 1968, crushing the reformist tendencies of the Prague Spring.

About the Lecturer

Kevin McDermott is a Professor of Modern East European History at Sheffield Hallam University. He specialises in communist Czechoslovakia and Soviet Stalinism. His specific research interests lie in state-society relations, popular opinion, resistance and conformity. His most recent publications include Communist Czechoslovakia, 1945-89: a political and social history (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015) and, with Matthew Stibbe, Eastern Europe in 1968: responses to the Prague Spring and Warsaw Pact Invasion (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018)