The political thought of Vaclav Havel: Philosophical influences and contemporary applications

Research output: Book/ReportBookResearchpeer-review


The book considers Václav Havel’s body of writing as a cohesive whole offering a consistent political philosophy. This bold claim is backed up through a close examination of Havel’s plays, letters, essays and aphorisms. The political philosophy that a close reading of Havel reveals is a liberal one. However, Havel is not the run-of the-mill liberal having influences from the field of phenomenology, Masaryk, Husserl, Levinas Patoka and Heidegger which give him a nuanced view of the self. Havel sees the self as something always being formed. Hence for Havel man has an ability to ‘shake’ his current state and invite transcendence into his life. This agnostic process reveals our responsibility and liberates the self from forces which coerce behaviour.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLeiden, The Netherlands
Number of pages189
ISBN (Electronic)9789004332195
ISBN (Print)9789004332188
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Publication series

NameValue Inquiry Book Series
ISSN (Print)0929-8436

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  • Student Theses

    A reappraisal of the political philosophy of Vaclav Havel

    Author: Brennan, D., 12 Oct 2013

    Supervisor: Cox, D. (Supervisor)

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


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