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Demand for right-wing extremist politics in Slovakia: Findings of the DEREX project


Positions and influence of the radical-nationalist and right-wing extremist forces in Europe and prospects for their future activities are not only the topic of lively public debate (especially in the context of the ongoing economic and financial crisis), but also the subject of the detailed expert research.


Social factors of right-wing extremist politics


On the one hand, discussions about the tools and methods which radical right groups employ to strengthen their influence in society, focus mainly on the results achieved by these groups in elections (local, regional, general or European) and on the policies that they strive to implement in various areas (social security, migration, education, etc.). On the other hand, expert research of the prerequisites for success of the radical forces addresses identification of variety of factors (historical, socio-cultural, ethno-demographic) and especially of people’s views on the existent social problems, particularly in the context of rivalry between different political forces – moderate or radical. Based on an analysis of the public views, the researchers try to define the extent of people’s readiness to support political activities through which the right-wing extremist forces seek to assert their influence in individual countries.

Similarly to elsewhere, in Slovakia a set of social pre-conditions exists that creates the context of activities of the extreme right. The universal, common pre-conditions include particularly factors related to the transformation of the society and its effects on lives of large segments of the population. People who, for various reasons, had been unable to adapt to the new social conditions after the fall of the communist regime and the introduction of market economy, may perceive the “quick” and “easy” solutions offered by the extremist nationalist politicians as worthy their sympathy and support. There are also specific factors encouraging extremist politics in Slovakia that derive from peculiarities of the historical development of the country. They include traditions of authoritarian nationalist politics from the interwar period and ideological heritage of pro-Nazi collaborationist regime that existed in Slovakia during World War II. The country’s multi-ethnic composition of the population offer to nationalistically oriented forces an opportunity to use the so-called “ethnic” card for voters’ mobilization. Long-term problems associated with the situation of the Roma minority, especially in the areas where Roma and non-Roma citizens live in close neighborhood create the breeding ground for anti-Roma racial prejudice, discriminatory sentiments and practices. These problems serve the extremist groups as justification of their radical stances and proposals gaining certain support from the part of local population. Slovakia’s accession to the EU increased the degree of its openness and led to a growing numbers of immigrants from geographical areas with different cultural and religious characteristics. That encourages radicals and extremists to spread their isolationist xenophobic agenda.

All aforementioned factors influence the voting behavior and political attitudes of the public, its views on the development and organization of the society, and shape its long-lasting value orientations.


Read the complete study on Deconspirator.com.