Dr. Petr Roubal

Curriculum Vitae


2008 - pres. Senior researcher at Institute of Contemporary History (Department of late-/post-socialism), Academy of Sciences, Prague
2011 - pres. Lecturer at Faculty of Philosophy & Arts, Charles University, Prague
2007 - 2011 Lecturer Council on International Educational Exchange, Prague
2007 Ph.D. in Comparative History, Central European University, History Department
2002 M.Phil in Social Anthropology, University of Cambridge, Dept. of Social Anthropology
2000 MA in History, Central European University, History Department


Research project at the Kolleg



The research project looks at under-researched theme of urban planning of Prague in the post-1968 "normalisation" or consolidation regime up to the Velvet Revolution of 1989. The general framework of the research is formed by the question on the nature of late-socialist governance, namely what role did the expert and technocratic elites play in the system of power and cradle-to-grave planning under the state-socialist dictatorship. The study of expert cultures reveals the state-socialist experiment as part of larger pool of modernist projects which all gravitated towards technocratic and expert led style of governance. Urban planners represent an illustrative example of the role of experts in state-socialist governance as they operated with disregard for the locational value and property rights and with a surprising level of autonomy vis-a-vis the communist party. On the other hand, unlike many other state-socialist experts, the visions of urban planners were highly constrained by the "hardware" of the city, i.e. the existing build environment, which was particularly true for cities of East-Central Europe build mostly during the later phase of capitalist industrialisation. Urban planners seemed to play ambivalent role under the consolidation regime, underpinning it initially by providing rational and expert-based solutions, only to undermine it towards the end of the 1980s by pointing out the irrationality of the state-socialist project.


Main areas of research


  • Political rituals in the 20th century
  • Legitimisation of state-socialism
  • Political and intellectual history of post-communism
  • History of Prague after the Second World War



Positions and memberships


  • Senior researcher at Institute of Contemporary History (Department of late-/post-socialism), Academy of Sciences, Prague
  • Member of the editorial board of the journal Dějiny, teorie, kritika