Slovakia since 1989

Harris, E ORCID: 0000-0001-9284-0215 and Henderson, Karen
(2019) Slovakia since 1989. In: Central and Southeast European Politics since 1989. Cambridge University Press,Cambridge.

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The chapter traces political developments in Slovakia from its sudden and controversial emergence as an independent state, following the break-up of Czechoslovakia, to the present day. Slovakia’s slow and difficult transition to democracy in the 1990s has been marked by nationalism and ambivalent attitude to liberal democracy and relations with the West. This was followed by a period of successful ‘Europeanization’ and the accession to the EU and a relatively quick and successful joining of the Eurozone. It is argued that despite the near permanent political turbulence and the fluctuating party system, Slovakia’s democracy is progressing well, if not without problems. In highlighting problematic issues, it is suggested that those derive mostly from the absence of statehood tradition, speed of reforms and legacy of communism. The misinterpretation of independence as the ‘ownership’ of the state increases nationalist leanings within society which then tolerates hostility to other ethnicities and immigrants. This negative legacy, when combined with post-communist distortion of history, economic and social insecurity of speedy transition, and the absence of political responsibility perpetuate corruption. The conclusion, whilst detailing these processes, argues that the democratization process in Slovakia has been perhaps more successful than expected, even if by no means complete.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: Slovakia, post-communism, democratization, Europeanization, party system
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 30 Oct 2018 09:21
Last Modified: 08 Oct 2019 14:10
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