Towards the Expert Governance: Social Scientific Expertise and the Socialist State in Czechoslovakia, 1950s-1980s

Vítězslav Sommer

Abstract


This article is concerned with the process of introduction and the further expansion of social scientific expertise in state socialist Czechoslovakia from the mid-1950s until 1989. It presents these developments in the context of the changing policy strategies of the Communist Party elites and describes how closely social scientific expertise, and social scientific knowledge production in general, was interconnected with the broader development of the state socialist governance from the post-Stalinism of the second half of the 1950s to the 1980s perestroika period. This text is structured around three crucial realms of the state socialist governance: state, economy and labor, and socialist society. The first part of the article is concerned with the expertise in the field of state, law and political sciences, which played a significant role during the late 1950s, when the socialist state-building project was finished. The following section focuses on the rise of social scientific expert culture during the reform communist period of the 1960s. The third part of this study analyzes how the reform communist expert culture was transformed by the post-1968 regime in a large expert apparatus in order to build strictly centralized technocratic governance. Finally, this article describes how social scientific expertise responded to the crisis and disorganization of state socialist governance during the perestroika period.


Full Text:

PDF

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


  • Editors
  • Peter Baehr (Lingnan University, Hong Kong),
  • Fernanda Beigel (Universidad Nacional de Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina),
  • Christian Fleck (University of Graz, Austria),
  • Andreas Hess (University College Dublin, Ireland),
  • Laurent Jeanpierre (Université Paris 8, Vincennes-Saint-Denis, France)
  • Olessia Kirtchik (National Research University, Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia)
  • Thomas Koenig (Institute for Advanced Studies, Vienna, Austria)
  • George Steinmetz (University of Michigan, USA)
  •  
  • Managing Editors
  • Matthias Duller (University of Graz, Austria)
  • Carl Neumayr (University of Graz, Austria) 
  • Associate Editors
  • Ivan Boldyrev (Radboud University, Nijmegen, Netherlands)
  • Thibaud Boncourt (Université Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne, France)
  • Matteo Bortolini (University of Padua, Italy)
  • Marcia Consolim (Universidade Federal de São Paulo, Brazil)
  • Christian Dayé (Alpen-Adria University Klagenfurt, Austria)
  • Jefferson Pooley (Muhlenberg College, Allentown PA, USA)
  • Elisabeth Simbürger (Universidad de Valparaíso, Chile)
  •  
  • Book review Editor
  • Kristoffer Kropp (Roskilde University, Denmark) 

  • Language Editor
  • Kate Forbes-Pitt 
  • International Advisory Board
  • Richard Bellamy (University College London, United Kingdom)
  • Mark Bevir (University of California, Berkeley, USA)
  • Peter Breiner (State University of New York, USA)
  • Peter Burke (University of Cambridge, Emmanuel College, United Kingdom)
  • Hamilton Cravens (Iowa State University, USA) †
  • Paul H. Erickson (Wesleyan University, USA)
  • Jean-Louis Fabiani (Central European University, Budapest and Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris)
  • Liah Greenfeld (Boston University, USA)
  • Johan Heilbron (Erasmus University, Rotterdam and Centre de sociologie européenne, Paris)
  • Dirk Kaesler (University of Marburg, Germany)
  • Michèle Lamont (Harvard University, USA)
  • Wolf Lepenies (Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, Germany)
  • Sergio Miceli (Universidade de São Paulo, Brasil)
  • Philip E. Mirowski, (University of Notre Dame, USA)
  • Helga Nowotny (ETH Zurich, Switzerland)
  • William Outhwaite (Newcastle University, United Kingdom)
  • Margaret Schabas (University of British Columbia, Canada)
  • Cherry Schrecker (Université Grenoble-Alpes, France)
  • Peter D. Simonson (University of Colorado, USA)
  • Pierre Singaravélou (Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, France)
  • Friedrich Stadler (University of Vienna, Austria)
  • Nico Stehr (Zeppelin University, Friedrichshafen, Germany)
  • Eleanor R. Townsley (Mount Holyoke College, USA)
  • Stephen P. Turner (University of South Florida, USA)
  • Gary Wickham (Murdoch University, Australia),