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30 Oct 2019 19:00

In Quest of History: On Statehood and Identity with Jiří Přibáň and Pavel Seifter

As contemporary politics drift closer to totalitarianism, historiography from scholars and thinkers who have experienced twentieth-century totalitarian regimes is more important than ever. A professor of legal philosophy Jiří Přibáň and Pavel Seifter, historian and former Czech Ambassador to the UK, search for the roots of contemporary problems in our past, examining how we navigate history among the shifting tides of our national identity and what statehood and democracy mean 30 years after the fall of communism.

Chaired by Sir John Tusa and touching upon the subjects of sovereignty, freedom, fear, and faith, this promises to be a spirited discussion launching the English edition of Jiří Přibáň’s and Karel Hvížďala’s book In Quest of History; On Czech Statehood and Identity.

Karolinum Press, October 2019
An award-winning Czech journalist and a Cardiff-based Professor of Law examine key moments in Czech history from the ninth century to the twenty-first to investigate how Czechs have viewed their history at different points – and what it means for the present and future. The book entertainingly explores issues that are normally reserved for university seminars, or avoided completely.


Jiří Přibáň
Jiří Přibáň graduated from Charles University in Prague (1989) where he was appointed professor of legal theory, philosophy and sociology in 2002. He was also visiting professor or scholar at European University Institute in Florence, New York University (Prague Office), University of California in Berkeley, University of San Francisco, University of Pretoria, The Flemish Academy in Brussels and University of New South Wales, Sydney. Jiří Přibáň has published extensively in the areas of social theory and sociology of law, legal philosophy, constitutional and European comparative law, and theory of human rights. He is an editor of the Journal of Law and Society and a regular contributor to the Czech and international media.

Pavel Seifter
Pavel Seifter was Czech Ambassador to the United Kingdom from 1997 to 2003. He started his career as a lecturer in history at Charles University, Prague. After the Soviet invasion in 1968 he worked as a window cleaner until 1989, signed the Charter 77, was involved in samizdat activities and in November 1989 took part in  the creation of the Civic Forum from inside the Magic Lantern. He returned to academia as co-founder of the Institute of Contemporary History in Prague and later became deputy director of the Institute of International Relations. Between 1993 and 1997 he was head of President Vaclav Havel’s foreign policy department. Pavel Seifter followed his diplomatic career as a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Global Governance, LSE, and retired in 2016.


Tickets: £5 + booking fee


Organised in collaboration with:

The cinema is accessible through the reception of the Embassy of the Czech Republic in London, 26 Kensington Palace Gardens, London W8 4QY. Please note the entrance is on Bayswater Road and that the venue is not accesible to wheelchair users.







Czech Embassy Cinema, 26 Kensington Palace Gardens, London W8 4QY


30 Oct 2019 19:00


Czech Centre

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