Jan Koura


Research Interests

  • Cold War history
  • Czechoslovakia and the Global South
  • propaganda and public diplomacy during the Cold War

Academic Posts

  • 2013 – present: assistant professor, Institute of World History, Faculty of Arts, Charles University
  • 2017 – present: Head of the Cold War Research Group, Centre for Strategic Regions (CSR), Charles University
  • 2011 – May 2013: Junior Lecturer, Institute of World History, Faculty of Arts, Charles University 


  • 2008–2013: Faculty of Arts, Charles University, Postgraduate Programme in Modern World History, Institute of World History, Faculty of Arts (attained degree: PhD)
  • 2007–2008: Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne (United Kingdom), Erasmus Exchange Program
  • 2003–2008: Faculty of Arts, Charles University, Graduate Programme in History and Political Science (attained degree: Master – Mgr.)
  • 2003–2007: Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University, Undergraduate Programme in Political Science and International Relations (attained degree: Bachelor – Bc.)


  • October 2021: Visiting Fellow, University of St Andrews, School of History, UK
  • 2019: Academic Visitor, Oxford School of Global and Area Studies, University of Oxford, United Kingdom
  • 2014–2015: Fulbright-Masaryk Visiting Scholar, Institute of European, Russian, and Euroasian Studies, Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University, United States
  • June 2014 – July 2014: Visiting Research Fellow, School of History, University of St Andrews, United Kingdom
  • July 2010: Research Scholar, Suffolk University, Boston, United States
  • February 2010–May 2010: Visiting Fellow, School of History, University of St Andrews, United Kingdom 

International conferences and Invited Speaker Lectures

  • Koura, J., panelist in the roundtable “Soviet and Eastern European Intelligence in the Global South: A Reassessment”, in: Annual Meeting of British Association for Slavonic and Eastern European Studies (BASEES), University of Cambridge, 9 April 2022
  • Koura, J., Thinking through Cold War Connections and Divisions: Actors and Places, in: University of St Andrews, Institute for Transnational and Spatial History, School of History, 11 October 2021
  • Koura, J., Czechoslovak Political, Economic and Security Activities in Africa during the Cold War, in: Jimma University, Ethiopia, 10 February 2020
  • Koura, J., Exporting Socialism: Czechoslovak Experts in Ghana in 1960s, in: Association for Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies (ASEES), 51st Annual Conference, 26. 11. 2019, San Francisco, USA
  • Koura, J., An Exceptional Agent: Czechoslovak Intelligence, Ben Barka and Cold War in Africa, in: The British International History Group, 31st Annual Conference, 5 September 2019, University of Lancaster, Velká Británie
  • Koura, J., Pešta, M., Czechoslovak Spies on the “Black Continent”: Strategy and Activities of Czechoslovak Intelligence in Africa in the 1960s, in: The Secret Struggle for the Global South: Espionage, Covert Action and State Security in the ‘Third World’ during the Cold War: A Comparative Perspective, University of Warwick, 14 September 2018
  • Koura, J., “The Socialism opened the Path for Liberation”.  Czechoslovak Ideological Penetration to Africa in 1960s, in: Eastern Europe-Global Area, Leibnitz Institute, Universität Leipzig, 4.-6.7. 2018
  • Koura, J., An Unequal Duel: The U.S. Propaganda Effort in Czechoslovakia, 1945-1950, Leiden University, 1 May 2018
  • Koura, J., The Cultural Cold War in Eastern Europe and the Psychological Strategy Board (1947-1953), Utrecht University, 30 April 2018
  • Koura, J., Toward the Strategy of Containment: George F. Kennan and Designing the Marshall Plan, in: Commemorating the 70thAnniversary of the Marshall Plan: Past and Current Challenges of the Transatlantic Alliance, Knihovna Václava Havla, 26 May 2017
  • Koura, J., Struggle for the Mind of the Czechoslovakian People: US vs Communist Propaganda in Czechoslovakia, 1945–1948, in: Annual Meeting of British Association for Slavonic and Eastern European Studies (BASEES), University of Cambridge, 3 April 2016.
  • Koura, J., S. Propaganda in the early Cold War, Russian State University for Humanities (RGGU), Russia, 1 November 2016.
  • Koura, J., S. Public Diplomacy in Czechoslovakia 1945–1950, Institute of History, Politics and International Relations of Vasyl Stefanyk Precarpathian National University, Ukraine, 15 May 2015.
  • Koura, J., Political, Economic and Propagandistic Interest of Czechoslovakia in British Guyana in 1950s and 1960s, in: Cultural Cold War. Eastern Propaganda in Latin America, Metropolitan University Prague, 13 November 2015.
  • Koura, J., ¿Colaboración sin llevar a cabo? Partido Progresista del Pueblo de Guayana y su colaboración con Checoslovaquia entre 1950 y 1964, in: Las relaciones entre Europa Central y Oriental y América Latina 1945–1989, Charles University, 4 September 2014.
  • Koura, J., A Missed Opportunity? U.S. Public Diplomacy towards Czechoslovakia, 1945–1953, Visiting Scholars Roundtable Series, Institute of European, Russian, and Euroasian Studies, Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University, 23 October 2014.
  • Koura, J., Broadcasting by the Voice of America (VOA) to Czechoslovakia during the late 1940s and 1950s: Contest between Foreign and Domestic Propaganda, in: Annual Meeting of Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations (SHAFR), Arlington, Virginia, USA, 20–22 June 2013.


Research Grants

  • 2020–2023: co-researcher of the project PRIMUS ‘African and Middle Eastern Elites Educated in former Socialist Countries: Studies, Trajectories, and Mindsets’, Faculty of Arts, Charles University
  • 2019–2022: researcher in the project ‘TEH21: Teaching European History in the 21st Century’, Erasmus+ project (main investigator Utrecht University)
  • 2018– Co-researcher of the project KREAS (Creativity and Adaptability as Conditions for the Success of Europe in an Interrelated World), Faculty of Arts, Charles University
  • 2017– Co-researcher of the project PROGRES Q09, Charles University
  • 2012–2016: Co-researcher of the project PRVOUK P12 – History in an Interdisciplinary Perspective, Charles University
  • 2016: John F. Kennedy Library Research Grant
  • 2014: Harry S. Truman Library Institute Research Grant
  • 2012–2013: Grant of Faculty of Arts, Charles University (project title: “Propaganda War: Broadcasting of Voice of America to Czechoslovakia 1948–1953”)
  • 2011–2012: Grant of the Grant Agency of Charles University (project title: “Analysis of the Role of Greece and Turkey in U. S. Containment Strategies 1946–1964”) 

Main Publications:


Edited volumes

  • Tumis, S. – Koura, J. – Soukup, J. (eds.), Kapitoly z britských a amerických dějin [Chapters on British and American history] Praha: Fontes, Faculty of Arts, Charles University 2015, 347 pages, ISBN: 978-80-7308-574-2.

Chapters in monographs

  • Koura, J. – Waters, R. A., “They are as businesslike on that side of the Iron Curtain as they are on this”: Czechoslovakia’s relations with British Guiana, in: Muehlenbeck, P. – Telepneva, N. (eds.), Warsaw Pact Intervention in the Third World: Aid and Influence in the Cold War, London: I. B. Tauris 2018, p. 74–94.
  • Koura, J., ¿Colaboración frascada? El Partido Progresista del Pueblo de Guayana y su colaboración noc Checoslovaquia entre 1950 y 1964, in: Opatrný, J. (ed.), Las relaciones entre Europa oriental y América Latina 1945–1989, Praga : Universidad Carolina de Praga, 2015, pp. 127–136. ISBN 978-80-246-3089-2.
  • Koura, J., Americká strategie zadržování a její počáteční formulace v letech 1946–1950. Od Kennanova partikularizovaného přístupu k univerzalismu NSC-68 [US strategy of containment and its initial formulation in the years 1946–1950. From Kennan’s particular approach to universalism of NSC-68] in: Kovář, M. – Drška, V. (eds.), Kapitoly z obecných dějin. Panu profesorovi s láskou…, [Chapters from general history. To our professor…], Praha: Fontes, Faculty of Arts, Charles University 2014, pp. 281–294. ISBN 978-80-7308-521-6.
  • Koura, J., Alemania despues de la guerra fría: contribución a la historia de Alemania despues de la reunificación, in: Serrano, J. M. (ed.), Juegos de poder: Relaciones Internacionales en la Era Post Guerra Fría, Medellín: Hombre Nuevo Editores 2013, pp. 31–46. ISBN 978-958-8783-19-2.

Studies in peer-reviewed journals

  • Koura, J., Czechoslovakia and the ‘Cyprus Issue’ in the years 1960–1974: Secret Arms Deals, Espionage, and the Cold War in the Middle East, in: Middle Eastern Studies Vol. 57, Issue 4, 2021, s. 516-533, https://doi.org/10.1080/00263206.2020.1860944.
  • Koura, J., A Prominent Spy: Mehdi Ben Barka, Czechoslovak Intelligence, and Eastern Bloc Espionage in the Third World during the Cold War, in: Intelligence and National Security Vol. 36, Issue 3, 2021, s. 318-339, https://doi.org/10.1080/02684527.2020.1844363.
  • Koura, J., Waters, R. A., ‘Africanos’ versus ‘Africanitos’ the Soviet-Czechoslovak Competition to Protect the Cuban Revolution, in: International History Review, Vol. 43, Issue 1, 2021, pp. 72-89 https://doi.org/10.1080/07075332.2019.1692892.
  • Koura, J., Contest between Foreign and Domestic Propaganda. Voice of America Broadcast to Czechoslovakia during late 1940s and 1950s, in: The Twentieth Century, Vol. 8, No. 1, 2016, pp. 189–207.
  • Koura, J., Řecko mezi Východem a Západem: Spojené státy americké a řecká otázka v letech 1945–1947 [Greece between East and West: The United States and Greek Question in the years 1945–1947], in: Slovanský přehled/Slavonic Review, Vol. 100, No. 1, 2014, pp. 71–93.
  • Koura, J., Turkey on the Crossroad: United States Foreign Aid to Turkey in the Years 1947–1948, in: Prague Papers on the History of International Relations, Vol. 5, No. 1, 2013, s. 180–191.
  • Koura, J., The Truman Doctrine: Origin of Ideological Containment, in: The Twentieth Century, Vol. 2, No. 2, 2010, pp. 136–146 [citations: 3]
  • Koura, J., Greek-Turkish Struggle for Cyprus: United States Foreign Policy towards the “Cyprus Question” during the 1960s, in: The Twentieth Century, Vol. 1, No. 2, 2009, pp. 13–40.