The Czech Republic in the Beginning of the 21st Century

Date & time

Feb 13, 2008, 4:00-5:30 pm EST


Weill Hall

Mr. Palouš was Ambassador of the Czech Republic to the United States for 5 years and is now the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Czech Republic to the United Nations. In October 1998, he became Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic. Mr. Palouš was also active in various non-governmental organizations and served as chairman of the Czech Helsinki Committee until 1998. Ambassador Palouš was a faculty member and the faculty's vice-dean in the Department of Social Sciences at Charles University; he joined Ivan Havel at the Centre for Theoretical Studies in 1993. He served the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Czechoslovakia as advisor to Minister Dienstbier and was Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs from October 1990 to October 1992. A founding member of the Civic Forum, he was elected to the Federal Assembly in 1990 and became a member of its Foreign Affairs Committee. Mr. Palouš was one of the first signatories of Charter 77 and served as spokesman for this dissident human rights group in 1986. He has lectured extensively in the United States and has authored several publications. Ambassador Palouš translates the works of Hannah Arendt. Born in Prague, Mr. Palouš received a Doctor of Natural Sciences in chemistry from Charles University in Prague and went on to study law, philosophy and social sciences. In what ways are international affairs seen differently by small and large democratic nations? Despite the common goals, threats, and values that make us all part of one increasingly interconnected civilization, small nations have their own heritages, their own experiences, and their own perspectives. As an illuminating example of the species of small nations, Ambassador Palous will introduce the case of his own country, the Czech Republic. Palous' work seeks a better understanding of the historical, cultural, or political sources of the eventual differences between Americans and modern Czechs. This focus on differences, Palous asserts, serves not to weaken the transatlantic bond between Europe and America, but rather to strengthen our capacity for mutual understanding and cooperation. Co-sponsored with CREES. Reception to follow. Free and open to the public.