Lukes Quoted In Article on Czech Billionaire Petr Kellner

Igor Lukes, Professor of International Relations and History at the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University, was quoted in a The Wire China article discussing Petr Kellner, the billionaire chief of the international conglomerate PPF Group, and his dealings in China. 

The article, titled “The Czech Man in China,” outlines Kellner’s rise to become the wealthiest person in his native Czech Republic, which in recent years can be attributed to PPF subsidiary Home Credit whose operations in China grew by navigating the divide between business and politics.

In his comments, Lukes states how it was easy for people to accumulate wealth in the 1990s transition from communism, but it as very difficult to hold onto that wealth. He notes that Kellner discovered this fact and aimed to make allies of Czech politicians in order to maintain his wealth during the tumultuous period.

An excerpt:

Other entrepreneurs, Lukes notes, quickly went boom and bust as the Czech economy privatized. But Kellner focused on making political friends, Lukes says, ‘because it was the only way to defend your profits.’

The full article can be read via The Wire China.

Igor Lukes is a past winner of the 1997 Metcalf Award for Excellence in Teaching and the 2020 winner of the Gitner Prize for Faculty Excellence at the Pardee School. He writes primarily about Central Europe. His work has won the support of various other institutions, including Fulbright, Fulbright-Hays, the Woodrow Wilson Center, IREX, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Read more about Professor Lukes on his faculty profile.