Conflicted Cultural Memory and U.S. Foreign Policy: The “Lost Ca(u)se” of the U.S. Radar Base in the Czech Republic

Keywords: cultural memory, foreign policy, transatlantic ties, U.S.-Czech relations, radar base


This article analyzes the developments in cultural memory in Czech-U.S. relations since the end of the Cold War with a special emphasis on the heated debate about placing a U.S. radar base on Czech soil in 2008. It first describes the abrupt transformation in cultural memory related to the transition from communist rule from the transatlantic perspective. It claims that the debate about the radar base is a clear indication of the shift within cultural memory, which became much more contested, especially when compared with the previous period culminating with the Czech Republic’s entry into NATO. As cultural memory is closely linked to dominant historical narratives as well as identity, the findings have serious implications for the future of the transatlantic ties in the region.

Author Biography

Kryštof Kozák, Charles University, Prague

PhD – is currently the Head of the Department of North American Studies at the Institute of International Studies at the Faculty of Social Sciences of Charles University and a Fulbright scholar from UC San Diego. He spent one year at Bard College, New York. Dr. Kozak is a graduate of the doctoral study program International Area Studies at the Faculty of Social Sciences with doctoral thesis “Facing Asymmetry. Bridging the Peripheral Gap in US-Mexican Relations”. His recent grant project focused on the role of collective memory in transatlantic relations, with an upcoming publication in Routledge. His courses at the Faculty of Social Sciences repeatedly won the “Golden Course” award based on comprehensive student evaluations. Contact address:


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