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The new right in the new Europe? Unravelling the ideology of 'Czech Thatcherism'

Hanley, S; (1999) The new right in the new Europe? Unravelling the ideology of 'Czech Thatcherism'. Journal of Political Ideologies , 4 (2) pp. 163-189. 10.1080/13569319908420794. Green open access

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Abstract

The remarkable success of Vaclav Klaus and the 'Thatcherite' right in the Czech Republic was an exception in post-communist Eastern Europe. Explanations for its success have usually focused on policy performance, fixed historical legacies or generalized understandings of post-communism, but have largely ignored the role of ideology. However, despite differences of context, 'Czech Thatcherism', like its British precursor, can be seen in Gramscian terms as an innovative, populist right-wing ideology linked to a hegemonic project of social transformation. This article traces the importation of Anglo-American neo-liberal and conservative ideas by intellectual counter-elites under the communist regime. It then examines the 'revolutionary conservatism' formulated by the Czech Right after 1989, focusing on its discourse of post-communist transformation and attempts to ground imported New Right ideas in the Czech context. Finally, the article considers the ideological tensions within 'Czech Thatcherism' and discusses alternative Czech readings of conservatism.

Type: Article
Title: The new right in the new Europe? Unravelling the ideology of 'Czech Thatcherism'
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/13569319908420794
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/15080
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