Conflicted Cultural Memory and U.S. Foreign Policy: The “Lost Ca(u)se” of the U.S. Radar Base in the Czech Republic
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.
Albright, Madeleine. Prague Winter: A Personal Story of Remembrance and War, 1937-1948, Harper Perennial, 2010.
Asmus, Ronald D., and Vondra, Alexandr. “The Origins of Atlanticism in Central and Eastern Europe.” Cambridge Review of International Affairs, 18, 2, 2005: 203-216, https://doi.org/10.1080/09557570500164439.
Balis, Christina V., and Serfaty, Simon. Visions of America and Europe. September 11, Iraq and Transatlantic Relations. Washington, D.C.: Center for Strategic and International Studies Press, 2004.
Blum, William. “A Brief History of U.S. Interventions: 1945 to the Present.” Z magazine, June 1999. Web. 15 June 2016. http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Blum/US_Interventions_WBlumZ.html.
Bottici, Chiara, and Challand, Benoit, Imagining Europe. Myth, Memory and Identity, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013.
Carney, Sean. “Czech President Clashes With U.S. Ambassador Over Russia.” The Wall Street Journal, April 5, 2015.
Cervenka, Jan. “Občané o americké radarové základně v ČR – červen 2009” [Citizens on American Radar Base in CR – June 2009]. Center for Research on Public Opinion, 2009. Web. 15 June 2016. http://cvvm.soc.cas.cz/media/com_form2content/documents/c1/a3406/f3/100679s_pm70424.pdf.
Delaney, Kate, and Antoszek, Andrzej. “Americanization and Anti-Americanism in Poland: A Case Study, 1945-2006”. Global Perspectives on the United States. Pro-Americanism, Anti-Americanism, and the Discourses Between. Edited by Virginia R. Dominguez, and Jane C. Desmond. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2017: 73-92, https://doi.org/10.5406/illinois/9780252040832.003.0008.
Gazdík, Jan. “Parkanová zpívá o radaru” [Parkanova sings about the radar]. MF Dnes, June 5, 2007. Web. 15 June 2016. http://www.army.cz/scripts/detail.php?id=9353.
Glenn, John K. et al. Czech-American Relations: A Roadmap for the Future. Prague: Prague Center for Transatlantic Relations, 2015.
Ilgen, Thomas L. (ed.) Hard Power, Soft Power and the Future of Transatlantic Relations. Ashgate Publishing Group, 2006.
Jiráček, Lukáš. Jak Češi vnímají NATO a roli USA? [How Czechs view NATO and the role of USA], 2014. Web. 15 June 2016. http://www.cicar.cz/article/show-article/jak-cesi-vnimaji-nato-a-roli-usa.
Klusák, Tomáš, and Remunda, Filip. Český mír [Czech Peace], 2010. Documentary available on Youtube. Web. 15 June 2016. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TZ1lzA9v_-s.
Harting, William D. “The Hidden Costs of NATO Expansion.” World Policy Institute Issue Brief, 1998. Web. 1 February 2018. http://www.worldpolicy.org/projects/arms/reports/natocost.html.
Havel, Václav. “Speech to U.S. Congress,” February 21, 1999. Vaclav Havel Library. Web. 15 May 2018. https://archive.vaclavhavel-library.org/File/Show/158451.
Havel, Václav. “Speech on the occasion of Czech entry into NATO,” March 24, 1999. Vaclav Havel Library. Web. 15 May 2018. http://archive.vaclavhavel-library.org/viewArchive.php?event=19660&itemDetail=36346.
Kennan, George F. “A Fateful Error,” The New York Times, February 5, 1997.
Kopeček, Michal. “From the Politics of History to Memory as Political Language: Czech Dealings with the Communist Past after 1989.” Forum Geschichtskulturen, Czechia. Web. 16 December 2013. http://www.imre-kertesz-kolleg.uni-jena.de/index.php?id=519&l=0.
Kozák, Kryštof. “Collective Memory In Transatlantic Relations: In Search For The Ties That Bind.” Acta Universitatis Carolinae. Studia Territorialia 15, 1-2, 2015: 65-84, https://doi.org//10.14712/23363231.2015.80.
Langenbacher, Eric, and Shain, Yossi. Power and the Past: Collective Memory and International Relations, Georgetown University Press, 2010.
North Atlantic Treaty Organization. “Speech by US Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright at the North Atlantic Council Ministerial Meeting,” May 29, 1997. Web. 15 June 2016. http://www.nato.int/docu/speech/1997/s970529f.htm.
North Atlantic Treaty Organization. “Transcript of the Remarks by President W.J. Clinton to People of Detroit,” October 22, 1996. Web. 15 June 2016. http://www.nato.int/docu/speech/1996/s961022a.htm.
Meusburger, Peter, Heffernan, Michael, and Wunder, Edgar. Cultural Memories. The Geographical Point of View. Springer Netherlands, 2010, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-90-481-8945-8.
Ouellette, Megan E., and Weiss, Tomáš. “‘This Marvelous Symbol of Our Identity’: The Czech Republic in American Practical Geopolitics.” Geopolitics, 20, 2, 2015: 267-286. https://doi.org/10.1080/14650045.2014.964862.
Pehe, Jiří. “Postoje českých politiků a občanů ke kosovské krizi” [Attitudes of Czech politicians and citizens to the crisis in Kosovo], 7.04.1999. Web. 15 June 2016. http://www.pehe.cz/clanky/1999/postoje-ceskych-politiku-a-obcanu-ke-kosovske.
Phillips R. Kendall (ed.). Framing Public Memory, University of Alabama Press, 2004.
Pojar, Tomáš. “Czech-American Relations and Support of Liberal Democratic Forces Around the Globe.” Glenn, John K. et al. Czech-American Relations. A Roadmap for the Future. Prague: Prague Center for Transatlantic Relations, 2015: 80-86.
RAND Corporation. “The Impact of NATO Membership in the Czech Republic.” Web. 15 May 2016. https://www.rand.org/natsec_area/products/czechnato.html.
Recio, Maria. “Billy Gibbons sings blues, for Czech hero, Havel, on Capitol Hill.” McClatchy, November 20, 2014. Web. 15 June 2016. http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/politicsgovernment/congress/article24776596.html.
Rupnik, Jacques. “The Politics of Coming to Terms with the Communist Past. The Czech Case in Central European Perspective.” Tr@nsit online 22, 2002. Web. 25 May 2011. http://archiv.iwm.at/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=286&Itemid=464.
Taylor, Adam. “Why Poland Wants a Military Base,” Washington Post, June 13, 2014. Web. 15 June 2016. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2014/06/03/why-poland-wants-a-u-s-military-base/.
Zantovsky, Michael, “In Search for Allies: Vaclav Havel and the Expansion of NATO.” World Affairs, November 2014. Web. http://www.worldaffairsjournal.org/article/search-allies-vaclav-havel-and-expansion-nato.