Martin Potůček was born on 2 September 1948 in Prague. He spent his childhood without a mother as she was arrested and sentenced for treason in 1951 for political reasons. The father shortly after remarried, and until 1960, Martin and his family lived without the mother. The then-declared pardon of political prisoners allowed the release of his mother from prison. Martin Potůček had then only learned of her existence and moved to Olomouc. There he began to study at the Secondary Technical of Engineering, completing his studies at a similar school in Brno, where he moved to with his mother in 1966. He considered the choice of this school as an only option, because of his mother's past, he did not have the possibility of free choice. After his graduation in 1967, due to the softening of the political scene he started to study at the Faculty of Arts, at UJEP in Brno. He studied there from 1967 to 1973. Together with philosophy, he firstly studied mathematics, later adding political science and sociology to his education. Martin Potůček became very active during the first years of his studies, subsequently becoming one of the leading members of the UJEP philosophy community. He was persecuted for his political attitudes at the end of his studies, graduating in 1973, at the "consolidated college". He was facing the disciplinary commission of the faculty, in 1970 because of his activity during the August 1969 events which saw him also briefly imprisoned. In his professional career, Martin Potůček devoted himself to sociology and the creation of mathematical models and methodology in research, cooperating with Technosport or the Institute of Social Medicine and the Healthcare Organisation in Prague, prior to 1989. After 1989, he devoted himself fully to his academic career, working at the Faculty of Social Sciences in the UK, becoming a professor of sociology in 1992. He co-founded the Social Policy department, where he became a professor of in 1998. In 1994-2003 he was the director of the Institute of Sociological Studies and in 2000-2018, the Centre for Social and Economic Strategies. He has completed many internships and guest professor posts at many foreign universities. He was an advisor to the Prime Ministers of the Czech Republic and the Ministers of Labour and Social Affairs. Martin Potůček was the chairman (1995) and the vice-chairman (1994, 1996), of the Czech Sociological Society. In 2014-2017 he chaired the Expert Committee on Pension Reform. Then in 1989, he became an important Czech sociologist and member of many organisations. His professional activity was connected within the sphere of business, yet it also enabled him to develop scientifically. Martin Potůček received his Ph.D degree in Management Theory in 1989. His unambiguous engagement in the opposition to the regime can be related to his student years at the Faculty of Arts, UJEP, in Brno. The materials that remained in his personal possession from that period - documents, student magazines, leaflets, and posters were donated by Martin Potůček in 1994 to the Archives of Masaryk University where they created an archive fund together with the organised collection of Jan Eliáš.
- Praha, Prague, Czech Republic
Author(s) of this page
- Zapletal, Tomáš