French responses to the Prague Spring: connections, (mis)perception and appropriation

Bracke, M. (2008) French responses to the Prague Spring: connections, (mis)perception and appropriation. Europe-Asia Studies, 60(10), pp. 1735-1747. (doi: 10.1080/09668130802434331)

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Looking at the vast literature on the events of 1968 in various European countries, it is striking that the histories of '1968' of the Western and Eastern halves of the continent are largely still written separately.1 Nevertheless, despite the very different political and socio-economic contexts, the protest movements on both sides of the Iron Curtain shared a number of characteristics. The 1968 events in Czechoslovakia and Western Europe were, reduced to the basics, investigations into the possibility of marrying social justice with liberty, and thus reflected a tension within European Marxism. This essay provides an analysis specifically of the responses by the French left—the Communist Party, the student movements and the gauchistes—to the Prague Spring, characterised by misunderstandings and strategic appropriation. The Prague Spring was seen by both the reformist and the radical left in France as a moderate movement. This limited interpretation of the Prague Spring as a liberal democratic project continues to inform our memory of it.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Bracke, Professor Maud
Authors: Bracke, M.
Subjects:D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D204 Modern History
College/School:College of Arts & Humanities > School of Humanities > History
Journal Name:Europe-Asia Studies
Publisher:Taylor and Francis
ISSN (Online):1465 - 3427
Published Online:26 November 2008
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2008 Routledge
First Published:First published in Europe-Asia Studies 60(10):1735-1747
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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