Pragmatism Trumps Militancy

Czech Democracy

14 March 2019

Martin Ehl

Senior Fellow

How the anti-corruption fight and the debt collection business opened the doors for populists and nationalists

To use the expression “militant democracy” in the Czech political context seems weird. Czechs are first and foremost pragmatists who learned through their political history of the last two centuries that it does not pay to be militant in politics – it is better to find ways around rules or to change the system from within.

Afterall, this is a country and society which was not able to ban the communist party after the 1989 regime change and even allowed communists to continue as an unreformed political force until today.

Therefore, when looking for examples of how the Czech democracy has been developing tools for the radical defence of its liberal democracy – which in case of an illiberal turn might be used against the democracy itself – it is necessary to look at the “usual” toolbox which has been used and interpreted in creative ways through the aforementioned pragmatism.

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Martin Ehl

Senior Fellow

Visegrad Insight Senior Fellow. Martin Ehl is the Chief Analyst at Hospodářské noviny (Economic daily)

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