Dr. Radka Šustrová
Associated Researcher

Dr. Radka Šustrová
Associated Researcher

Radka Šustrová studied history and political science in Prague and Berlin. Her research focuses on the history of the welfare state, family policies, social and labour rights, women’s activism and nationalism in 20th-century Central Europe. She was previously awarded the British Academy Newton International Fellowship and served as a supervisor in history at the University of Cambridge and a lecturer in social history at Charles University in Prague. Her dissertation, titled Nations Apart. Czech Nationalism and Authoritarian Welfare under Nazi Rule will be published by Oxford University Press in the British Academy monograph Series in 2024. Her further publications include three books, several edited volumes, and articles.

Current Research Project

Radka’s current project, titled ‘Workers’ Agency and Social Justice in the Age of Authoritarianism: Austria and Czechoslovakia, 1938–1989’ develops a bottom-up perspective on workers’ engagement and promotion of social justice in the labour environment in Central Europe. She will examine employees’ understanding of their evolving rights and entitlements in their interactions with both democratic and authoritarian governance in Austria and Czechoslovakia, respectively, from the 1930s to the 1980s. This project focuses on two neighbouring countries located in “Western” and “Eastern” Europe and promises to develop a comparative research perspective that will use diachronic and synchronic comparison to cut across traditional political periodisation. The project thus brings together two countries linked by a common Habsburg past but divided by different political developments after 1945. It analyses how social justice was negotiated ‘from-below’, and beyond rare open protest. Radka will trace the development of equal treatment and social and labour rights both as an ideal and as a realised practice. Focusing on the labour environment, where relations have always been highly gendered, she pays attention to the power relations in the workplace inscribed in institutional practices and social-cultural patterns and thus compares and contrasts the ways women and men approached the question of justice and their goal of a more just working environment.

Selected Publications

Forthcoming: Nations Apart: Czech Nationalism and Authoritarian Welfare under Nazi Rule – under contract (British Academy/Oxford University Press, 2024)

Forthcoming: ‘Social Justice in Authoritarian Central Europe: Czechoslovakia under Nazism and Communism,’ In Social Justice in 20th-Century Europe, eds. Martin Conway and Camilo Erlichman (Cambridge University Press)

2023: ‘State Socialist Biopolitics. Four Stages of Human Development in Post-War Czechoslovakia,’ In Biopolitics in Central and Eastern Europe in the 20th Century: Fearing for the Nation, eds. Barbara Klich-Kluczewska, Joachim von Puttkamer and Immo Rebitschek London: Routledge, pp. 197-225. (co-authored by Jakub Rákosník)

2020: ‘“Labour that Serves the Good of All”. Technocratic Ideals and Czech Experts in Cooperation with Nazis in Bohemia and Moravia’, In Střed / Centre. Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies of Central Europe in the 19th and 20th Century, no. 2, 2020, pp. 36–69.

2020: ‘Struggle for Respect. The State, World War One Veterans, and Social Welfare Policy in Interwar Czechoslovakia’, In Zeitgeschichte, Vol. 47, Issue 1, 2020, pp. 107–134.

2018: ‘A Dilemma of Change and Cooperation. Labour and Social Policy in Bohemia and Moravia in the 1930s and 1940s’, In Nazism Across Borders: The Social Policies of the Third Reich and their Global Appeal, eds. Sandrine Kott and Kiran K. Patel, London: Oxford University Press, Series of the German Historical Institute, pp. 105–138.

2018: War Employment and Social Policies in the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, Prague: Faculty of Arts, Charles University Prague, 116 p. (co-edited by Jakub Rákosník)