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Published by: Harvard Kennedy School
Published in: 1992
Length: 16 pages

Abstract

In the wake of the 1989 "Velvet Revolution," the newly democratic government of Czechoslovakia must face not only its future but the totalitarian past. That challenge is joined when the new leadership takes on the task of remaking the nation''s police forces-long reviled as an agency of oppression. In contrast, in the new Czechoslovakia, the police must be service providers-keepers of the peace, neutral enforcers of the law. In trying to effect such a change, the new government faces a number of specific management issues. How should it treat those current members of the police force? On what basis should it begin to fill 3,000 vacant police positions? Should it order new police uniforms? This case focuses specifically on 1992, as the Czechoslovakian government, no longer assured of popularity simply by virtue of being democratic, faces these delicate issues.

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Abstract

In the wake of the 1989 "Velvet Revolution," the newly democratic government of Czechoslovakia must face not only its future but the totalitarian past. That challenge is joined when the new leadership takes on the task of remaking the nation''s police forces-long reviled as an agency of oppression. In contrast, in the new Czechoslovakia, the police must be service providers-keepers of the peace, neutral enforcers of the law. In trying to effect such a change, the new government faces a number of specific management issues. How should it treat those current members of the police force? On what basis should it begin to fill 3,000 vacant police positions? Should it order new police uniforms? This case focuses specifically on 1992, as the Czechoslovakian government, no longer assured of popularity simply by virtue of being democratic, faces these delicate issues.

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