The project National Communism (NATCOM) addresses the ambivalent and dynamic relations between communist ideology and nationalism. The project goal is to investigate how national communism, in its various stages, shaped the political, intellectual, and cultural development in Czechoslovakia during the “short 20th century”, from 1918 until the second half of the 1990s. National communism, as understood in this project, is a specific variety of communist thinking deeply rooted in the Eastern Central European (ECE) intellectual tradition. It is a crucial phenomenon that both predates and outlives the existence of the socialist dictatorships in the region. The investigation addresses the central question of how the complicated, ever-changing relations between communism and nationalism formed the development of the Czechoslovak socialist dictatorship and how the remodeled national communist agenda after 1989 influenced the post-communist transition. The main objects of the analysis are the nature of communist appeals to national legitimacy and the continuities between national communism and the “national populism” in the 1990s Eastern Central Europe. The research of national communism will look for continuities that survived the implementation of the new rules, the cases of adaptation, and evolution according to specific traditions. The main question is how the intellectual substance of national communism adapted to and also formed the changing reality. National communism will be analyzed with a specific focus on the Slovak part of the Czechoslovak Republic, in its interactions with the Czech and Hungarian environment. However, Slovak development is not understood as unique. NATCOM uses it as a case study identifying and providing distinct developmental traits typical for other former socialist dictatorships in ECE.
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