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Ľubomír Zvada

Abstract

This paper focuses on the migration crisis from the perspective of Slovakia while examining the impact of the crisis on the last parliamentary elections in 2016. The migration/refugee crisis that started in 2015 played a significant role during the pre-electoral discourse and political campaigns. This paper has two main goals. The primarily goal is to apply the theory of securitization as proposed by the Copenhagen Peace Research Institute on the case study of Slovakia, and the secondary goal is to analyze the 2016 Slovak general elections. In here, I describe the securitization processes, actors, and other components of the case. Subsequently, I focus on a key element of this theory that is linked to the speech act. I evaluate Islamophobia manifestations in speech act and political manifesto of Slovak political parties. My source base includes the rhetoric of nationalist political parties such as Direction-SD (Smer-SD), Slovak National Party (Slovenská národná strana), We Are Family-Boris Kollár (Sme Rodina-Boris Kollár), and Kotleba-People’ Party Our Slovakia (Kotleba-Ľudová strana Naše Slovensko), all of which often apply anti-Muslim and anti-Islam rhetoric.

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Vratislav Doubek

Abstract

This article examines the rise of the nascent intellectual and business bourgeois elites of the Czechs and Slovaks, focusing on the transformation of their cultural program into a political one. The article takes a comparative approach and investigates the relationship of political programs to prepolitical identities, zooming in on the parameters of a broader Czech and Slovak state identity, including the role of the center (Vienna, Pest, Prague, or Pressburg) or language (analyzing both its unifying and divisive roles in bridging the ideas and visions of the emerging local elites). As I argue, in the case of the Czech and Slovak nationalist movements, we can observe a transition from a prepolitical to the political program in the mid-19th century itself.

Open access

Gert Pickel and Cemal Öztürk

Abstract

Even though Muslim communities are virtually absent in most Eastern European societies new research shows that Islamophobia is more widespread in Eastern Europe than in Western Europe. The existence of ‘Islamophobia without Muslims’ is surprising prima facie, but in fact this empirical pattern reflects the assumption of the contact hypothesis. In a nutshell, the contact hypothesis argues that an individual’s contact with members of an ‘outgroup’ is conducive to refute existing prejudice and stereotypes. We test the explanatory power of the contact hypothesis on both the individual and the societal level. Empirically, we draw our data from the European Social Survey (2014), which allows us to conduct a systematic comparison of Eastern and Western European societies and to account for other well-established social psychological theories of prejudice and stereotyping (e. g. Social Identity Theory, Integrated Threat Theory). Our empirical results show that people with less or no contact are more prone to Islamophobic attitudes. This pattern is characteristic for Eastern European countries as the sheer absence of Muslim communities in these societies turns out to be a relevant explanation for anti-Muslim prejudice. Eastern European citizens tend to have para-social-contacts with Muslims. In general, they rely on media and statements of (populist) politicians, to build their opinions about Muslims. Negative news coverage fueled by terrorist attacks shapes the prevailing image of all Muslims, media consumption therefore intensifies already existing anti-Muslim sentiments. As a result, Eastern European countries have been comparatively unpopular choices for migrants to settle.

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Deepjyoti Chand

Abstract

As interdependence grows, economic issues are increasingly political in their nature and impact, and political issues are increasingly economic. The interdependence is acute in issues that relate to international trade, and especially in the case of landlocked countries. Nepal is one such land-locked country, being between India and China, whose economy depends on the trade relations with its neighbouring countries. Two-thirds of Nepalese trade depends on India. The article presents a summary of Nepal-India trade cooperation, primarily the Nepalese dependence in trade and transit route to India and its effects. It also presents an overview of the trade pattern between the two countries and focuses on the trade embargoes by India. The article analyses the reason behind the embargoes of 1969, 1989 and 2015 and how the situations have been resolved. The embargoes imposed by India on Nepal seem to be more political in nature and their impacts are both political and economic. The Indian embargoes in Nepal follow an objective of compliance, deterrence and subversion. By analysing India’s pursuance of trade embargoes against Nepal, the article reaffirms that landlocked nations such as Nepal are susceptible to manipulation by geopolitical threats since neighbouring countries adjust trade ties or use trade ties to fulfil their political, security and economic interests.

Open access

Ewa Skrabacz

Abstract

Constituting the key element of a democratic system, political parties are among entities obliged by the Polish legislator to comply with the principle of disclosure by providing public information. The main objective of this paper is to determine the level of Polish political parties’ disclosure, understood here as their willingness to disclose information on their own structures. It seems that the practice of disclosing such basic organizational data may constitute a specific measure of Polish political parties’ respect for the idea of disclosure. The subject matter of the conducted research was particular parties’ sites in the Public Information Bulletin as well as their official websites. An attempt was made to acquire data concerning party structures by way of direct contact with particular parties’ organizational units – questionnaires were sent to both central and regional/district organizational units. In order to acquire a wider perspective, the research also included data provided by the Central Statistical Office concerning political parties’ organizational structures and election manifestos. The conducted analysis was summarized in the form of a ranking of the examined political parties based on a proposed political party disclosure index. This attempt to measure disclosure on the basis of data on internal structures provided by parties themselves is of a preliminary character which, nevertheless, makes it possible to capture the general properties of the phenomenon under analysis. Among the examined parties, it is PSL, SLD, and PO that, to an acceptable degree, follow the principle of disclosure in the analysed scope (indexes at the level of 60%-80% of the maximum value). Four other parties, i.e. N, Wolność, Razem, and Kukiz’15, are on the edge of the zone making it possible to regard their disclosure as sufficient (indexes at the level of around 50% of the maximum value). In the case of PiS, whose index does not reach 20% of the maximum value, it should be concluded that this party implements the principle of disclosure at a minimum level. The ranking did not show relationships between parties’ willingness towards providing information and their sizes or positions on the political scene (parliamentary parties vs. extra-parliamentary parties).

Open access

Denys Kutsenko

Abstract

The paper analyzes the transformation of identity politics of Kharkiv local authorities after the Euromaidan, or Revolution of Dignity, the annexation of Crimea, and the War in Donbass. Being the second largest city in Ukraine and becoming the frontline city in 2014, Kharkiv is an interesting case for research on how former pro-Russian local elites treat new policies of the central government in Kyiv, on whether earlier they tried to mobilize their electorate or to provoke political opponents with using soviet symbols, soviet memory, and copying Russian initiatives in the sphere of identity.

To answer the research question of this article, an analysis of Kharkiv city and oblast programs and strategies and of communal media were made. Decommunisation, as one of the most important identity projects of Ukrainian central authorities after 2014, was analyzed through publications in Kharkiv’s city-owned media as well as reports from other scholars. Some conclusions are made from the analysis of these documents: Kharkiv development strategy until 2020, Complex program of cultural development in Kharkiv in 2011–2016 (and the same for 2017–2021), The regional program of military and patriotic training and participation of people in measures of defense work in 2015–2017, Program of supporting civil society in 2016–2020 in Kharkiv region and the city mayor’s orders about the celebration of Victory Day (9 May), the Day of the National Flag (23 August), the Day of the City (23 August) and Independence Day (24 August) in 2010–2015.

Open access

Lilla Barbara Paszkiewicz

Abstract

The Polish socialist movement has undergone various stages of development over more than 100 years of history. In the first half of the 20th century it was, to a large extent, identified with European Social Democracy. After the Second World War and the seizure of power in Poland by the communists, the socialist movement was replaced by a communist ideology that completely distorted the authentic democratic socialism and appropriated the values it represented. The unmasking of communist counterfeits was dealt with by the Polish émigré activist – Adam Ciołkosz, who as active politician and theoretician of socialism, showed a special activity in the contestation of communism. His views as an authentic Social Democrat had a significant impact on the political thought of the Polish socialist movement outside Poland. Ciołkosz, as an anti-Communist, represented such values as: respect for human rights and social justice, humanistic sensitivity, Christianity and above all socialism. At the same time, he promoted the need to fight communism and expose the criminal ideology. He pointed to the need to introduce a system of social justice (i.e. democratic socialism).

Open access

Rafał Dudała

Abstract

The conducted analysis evokes the polysemous character of the concept of laicism, which was influenced by modern political and philosophical ideas. Two positions have determined this: a diachronic one encompasses laicism as a process extended in time, and a synchronous one allows one to perceive the simultaneity of phenomena. Thus, the concept itself reveals its practical value, especially in the context of these challenges, which affect both the state crisis and the changing relationship between the State and the Church. This value is confirmed by an important place in the secular research that is based on the principles of sovereignty, equality and separation. Th us, laicism postulated and implemented in the democratic system and its reference to fundamental values should support, above all, the importance of arguments, mutual persuasion and decision-making procedures based on consensus.