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The struggle over political and historical memory is a serious and recurring issue that has important implications for the rise and spread of national politics in contemporary Europe and the durability of democratic traditions. This is particularly focused on the way in which new generations of youth are taught their history and the formation of collective memory. The sociological survey conducted in 2013 has shown that large segments of population, above young people, either don’t know or don’t care much about the history of the wartime Slovak state (1939 – 1945) and the holocaust. On the other hand the agreement with preserving memory is wide-spread, partially with the rationale to prevent recurrences of intolerance, extremism and xenophobia. The survey reveals also the most frequently used sources of knowledge about the past and based on empirical findings elaborates on how to approach youth when teaching history.
Political parties’ strategies and outcomes in the 2020 Slovak parliamentary elections in a gender perspective. Slovakia’s proportional electoral system features semi-open lists and one constituency. We study two determinants of women’s long-term underrepresentation in top politics: supply of female candidates by political parties (number of women and their positions on electoral lists) and demand by voters (number of preferential votes for women). In the 2020 elections, we identify three types of candidate lists: gender-sensitive, gender-ambivalent, and masculine. Non-masculine parties’ voters promoted women disproportionately, but their preferential votes did not compensate for women’s low starting positions. As voters’ demand could not override parties’ supply, we conclude that party gatekeepers are responsible for low female political representation.
It is becoming increasingly clear that emotions play a crucial role in voting decisions. This is especially true when it comes to choosing populist parties. This article uses a unique dataset to analyse the interplay between emotions and support for various types of populist parties in Slovakia. It contributes to the discourse by testing the competing hypotheses on what kinds of emotions matter in a post-communist country with multiple types of populist parties. Our results show that although previous studies have tended to concentrate on emotions toward the political or economic situation, feelings toward political leaders actually have greater importance, at least in the Slovak, post-communist context. Our study also indicates that the types of emotions differ depending on whether the populist party has already been in power or not. Contrary to expectations, fear has played a more important role than anger and in general, emotions are more important for right wing and left wing populist parties than for non-populist or centrist populist parties.
One of the key problems of our time is how much security we want, what price we are willing to pay to feel safe and whether safety leads to satisfaction. Security has a financial and political cost. The article focuses on the relationship between security and privacy from the point of view of a citizen. It examines Czech and Slovak citizen attitudes toward the use of strong prevention security measures in a situation where the government suspects a terrorist attack or security threats in general. We focus on the Czech Republic and Slovakia, two countries that do not have much experience with a severe threat to security, so security is more about pre-emptive measures and general consideration. Data from the two latest ISSP Role of Government modules (IV. and V.) are employed to analyse the degree to which citizens in both countries accept security measures and what are the determinants of their acceptance. We find that a mixture of the low level of trust and a high level of perceived corruption foster sceptical attitudes towards the use of strong security measures. Citizens are less willing to have their personal freedom limited if they do not trust their government. Populists and radical right harness mistrust and fear of immigration to strengthen their issue-ownership on law and order, promising more security but often seeking to limit the freedoms and individual liberties. In this context, the search for the balance between security and liberty has a new urgency and should receive more comparative attention in the future.
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