Gastwissenschaftler /innen

Dr. Doubravka Olšáková

Institute of Contemporary History, Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague

Green Party and Charter 77: New Social Movements, Environment, and Cooperation with Dissent across the Iron Curtain


The suggested initiative combines two Cold War phenomena: new social movements and the restricted internationalism of Soviet Bloc states, particularly Czechoslovakia. While the traditional means of communication – diplomatic channels – remained limited, new and non-traditional ways of international cooperation had emerged. One of them was cooperation between West-European political parties, often born out of the new social movements, and dissident groups in Eastern Europe. Archive documents show that the Green Party was often not only the subject of talks between the highest representatives of GFR and Czechoslovakia (especially due to the West German contacts with the dissent, in particular Charter 77), but it often behaved as a new pro-active actor on the international scene.

Relations between the GFR Green Party and Charter 77 were tight, and their new environmental objectives reflected the global environmental movement that helped form the Green Party in West Germany. Thus, inviting GFR Green Party leaders to discuss Charter 77's Ecological Section could be seen as importing a new social force behind the Iron Curtain.

Prof. Randall Hansen

Canada Research Chair in Global Migration, University of Toronto

Projekt: Dreaming of Europe: Refugees and the Old Continent    


The research examines the work-refugee nexus in Europe. Focusing on six countries – Italy, Austria, France, Germany, Sweden, and the UK––the book will examine the evolution of refugee flows, and refugee policy, since the end of the Cold War, when refugee numbers across Europe increased markedly. Most work has emphasized the push factors of war and the disappearance of Soviet-era border controls; this book explores how the evolution of the global and European economy since 1989 has generated demand for low-skilled labor filled by refugees.