Title in original language: Evropské paralely pro scestí a selhání federalistického myšlení v prostoru bývalého Československa
Author: Vladimír Goněc
Title in English: European parallels of the delusions and failures of federalist thinking in former Czechoslovakia
Journal: Česko-slovenská historická ročenka 24, 1, 2022, pp. 91-106
Abstract: This paper is based on Constantin Frantz’s concept of a true “federation for citizens”. Frantz’s concept has been misunderstood and neglected by a large part of the persons involved in constitutional thinking in the mid 19th century Bohemia and Upper Hungary, that is, the territories of today’s Czech and Slovak Republics. The result of that neglect and misunderstanding was delusion. The Czech Faculty of Law at Charles University in Prague became a stronghold of dogmatic centralist thinking; it found itself in conflict with other university faculties in interwar Czechoslovakia. With the take over of the Communist Party in February 1948, critical federalist thinking vanished, as a result of government domestic policy. After August 1968, critical federalist thinking as a concept of federation ceased to exist, since the concept ‘federation’ was bereft of its true sense. This resulted in the painful lack of understanding of the inherent problems of federalism and decentralisation in the early 1990s.
Keywords: Constantin Frantz; Czech and Slovak federalist thinking; fake federation; centralism; Prussian and “Soviet” federalism