Dr Michal Kopeček

Curriculum Vitae


Michal Kopeček is a researcher, since 2003 the head of the Post-1989 Democratic Transition History Department at the Institute of Contemporary History in Prague. From 2010 he teaches as Assistant Professor of Czech and Central European History at the Institute of Czech History, Charles University. He obtained his PhD at the Department of Russian and Eastern European Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University, Prague in 2005. He was awarded several prizes and fellowships among others Czech Academy of Sciences 2009 Otto Wichterle Prize for Junior Scholars, the Visiting Scholar-in-residence Fulbright Fellowship in 2005-2006, the International Visegrad Fund Fellowship at the István Bibó Research Center, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest in 2003-2004, and the Robert Bosch Junior Visiting Fellowship at the Institute for Human Sciences, Vienna in 2001.



Research project at the Kolleg


The ‘Legacy of Dissidence’: Memory Politics and the Intellectual Origins of Post-Socialism in East Central Europe
At the Kolleg Michal Kopeček is finishing his book project in comparative intellectual and socio-cultural history of the dissidence and its legacy in east central Europe in the last third of the twentieth century. Its main focus is on Czechia, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia. It is informed by the political development, contest for legitimacy and the politics of history in the 1990s that has left a fundamental imprint on political and social practices in these new European democracies. It endeavors to answer the following question: how did the reconstruction of collective identities and the contest for the “authentic” community representation (in terms of community of the dissidents as well as of the nation as a whole) in the alternative political and cultural structures (dissidence, nationally minded opposition, second culture, etc.) preconditioned and shaped the democratic political project in East Central Europe after 1989?



Main areas of research


  • comparative modern intellectual history in east central Europe
  • history of state socialism and communism in central and eastern Europe
  • democratization and postsocialism studies
  • history and theory of historiography, memory studies




Positions/ Memberships


  • Member of the Academic Board of the Institute of Contemporary History, Prague
  • Member of the editorial boards of academic journals Soudobé dějiny (Contemporary History; Prague) and Dějiny, teorie, kritika (History, Theory, Criticism; Prague)
  • Associate fellow of the Centre for Advanced Study, Sofia