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Kikimora Publications Series A 21

Jouni Järvinen
Normalization and Charter 77 – Violence, Commitment and Resistance in Czechoslovakia

Kikimora Publications A 21
ISBN ISBN 978-952-10-5152-4
366 p.
20 EUR + VAT 10 %


In Czechoslovakia, the occupation of 1968 denoted the beginning of ‘normalization’, a political and societal stagnation that lasted two decades. Dissident initiative Charter 77 emerged in 1977, demanding that the leaders of the country respect human rights.

This study contributes an empirical analysis of the normalization era and of Charter 77. The study suggests that normalization can be understood as a fundamentally violent process and discusses the structural and cultural manifestations of violence with relation to Charter 77.

Furthermore, the study provides understanding of the motives and impetuses behind dissent, the strategic shifts in Charter 77 activities, and the changes in the regime’s policies toward Charter 77. It adds new perspective on the common image of Charter 77 as a non-political initiative and suggests that Charter 77 was, in fact, a political entity, an actively political one in the latter half of the 1980s.

The study ‘is a major, significant, and ground-breaking piece of scholarship, which will remain a fundamental source for social and political historians for years to come.

Professor Michael Long, Director of Slavic and East European Studies, Baylor University, USA.

Contents (pdf)