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Czechoslovakia: Popular Political Expression
Country Study > Chapter 4 > Government and Politics > Popular Political Expression


Evaluating public opinion within such a rigid and closed political climate is difficult. Following the 1968 invasion, information emanated largely from Czechoslovak emigres and Western visitors to Czechoslovakia. Czechoslovak citizens risked official retaliation by speaking openly about political matters. Such sources were remarkably consistent, nevertheless, in reporting that the Husak government held the active support of some 10 percent of the population. One study conducted by a group of "former" sociologists in 1974 found that active support existed among 10 to 15 percent of the population. This group, according to the study, consisted of persons involved in the Stalinist repression who feared that a liberal regime would force them to account for their crimes, as well as paid party bureaucrats, old-age pensioners, careerists, "parasites" who would serve any regime, and a handful of extremist communist ideologues. One observer noted that "there has not been such a gap between the ruler and the ruled since the Nazi occupation."

Data as of August 1987

Last Updated: August 1987

Editor's Note: Country Studies included here were published between 1988 and 1998. The Country study for Czechoslovakia was first published in 1987. Where available, the data has been updated through 2008. The date at the bottom of each section will indicate the time period of the data. Information on some countries may no longer be up to date. See the "Research Completed" date at the beginning of each study on the Title Page or the "Data as of" date at the end of each section of text. This information is included due to its comprehensiveness and for historical purposes.

Note that current information from the CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State Background Notes, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Briefs, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Country Profiles, and the World Bank can be found on

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