Everyday functioning of the centrally planned economy in Czechoslovakia

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Friday, March 27th, 2020

Friday, March 27, 202010:00AM - 12:00PM208N, North House, Munk School of Global Affairs
1 Devonshire Place
M5S 3K7
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Libor Žídek, Associate Professor, has lectured at the Faculty of Economics and Administration at Masaryk University, Czech Republic, since 1997. He specializes in economic transformation with a particular focus on the Czech economy. He also has a keen interest in planned economy, particularly in Czechoslovakia and generally in economic history. His doctoral thesis focused on the impact of globalization on economic policy and his habilitation thesis on the transformation process in the Czech Republic. He teaches courses on World Economic History, Economic Transformation and Macroeconomics. He has lectured on the topics of central planning and transformation in a number of countries, including the USA, Canada, Japan, Germany, the UK, Poland, Finland, Ukraine, and Jamaica. He has presented at conferences and published several books and a number of chapters and journal papers.

The main goal of the talk is to give an idea about everyday economic reality in the socialist totalitarian system. It is partially based on results of our unique research – interviews with top-managers from the 1970s and 1980s. It generally breaks the common view that individual companies (at the bottom of the hierarchical pyramid) without hesitation followed the orders of the centre. The everyday reality was more complicated and foremost full of paradoxes, pretence and negotiations. The practice was far remote from textbook theory dealing with central planning.


Larysa Iarovenko


Libor Zidek
Masaryk University

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