UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES)


Between Debt and Democracy

09 May 2023, 2:00 pm–3:00 pm

A photograph of a wall with a sign saying 'Until debt tear us apart'

Indebtedness and Resistance in the deindustrializing regions of the Czech Republic. A SSEES Research Student seminar with Jitka Kralova

This event is free.

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Masaryk room
UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies
16 Taviton street

Why did overindebtedness in the Czech Republic emerge as such an acute problem of the past decade? What are the lived experiences of over-indebted individuals and what tools do they have to contest their exploitation? How is the state implicated in all of this? And what can this tell us about the nature of the current form of capitalism more broadly?

These are some of the key questions which my research sets out to address. Given that my project is primarily based on an extended ethnographic fieldwork which I have not yet conducted, this presentation will provide some preliminary insights and conceptual frameworks relevant to the anthropological study of debt and resistance. In the first part I will introduce my research context and in the second half I will discuss my main research areas and questions. It will essentially be a presentation of an elaborated research proposal.


Jitka Králová is a social anthropologist from Prague, Czech Republic. Her research interests include issues around inequality, precarity and social movements in the postsocialist contexts. She worked as an ethnographer on the POPREBEL project, which studied the rise of populism in CEE. She currently does her PhD research, where she investigates the nature of consumer credit lending, individual indebtedness, debt enforcement and contestation thereof in the context of the so called postsocialist semi-periphery.

Image credit: Jitka Kralova