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Abstract

"The Czech Republic is emerging as a vast exception to the post-socialist political development of Eastern and Central Europe." Drawing political parallels between the Czech Republic and other members of the Vikgrad group of countries, the author explains the continuing popularity of neo-liberal politics in the Czech Republic and some of the policies deployed to achieve it: unemployment control and wage regulation, bankruptcy prevention, social safety nets, and active labor market policies. Many of these policies, although inconsistent with the Thatcherite rhetoric of the government, form the backbone of its popular support. The privatization program, its adept implementation by the government, and its contribution to government popularity are also described. The sociological consequences of these political actions are discussed with reference to the Czech transformation; the author defines important public attitudes and describes how the population was prepared to make compromises, thus indicating the degree of confidence in the government. In conclusion, political culture and economic strength are recognized as integral parts of this complicated reform, whose success the author attributes to its social acceptability with regard to the voters, and to the skill of the government in its implementation.

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