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The role of civic activism for the democratic future of Slovakia

On September 19, 2018, the Institute for Public Affairs (IVO) and the Carpathian Foundation with the support of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation (KAS), organized a public debate Civil society and activism: the role of civic activism for the democratic future of Slovakia. The event took place within the IVO project „Country at the Crossroad“, consisting of a series of public discussions with participation of experts and citizens on topical issues of society’s development in several Slovak cities. 

The discussion was attended by Zora Bútorová (sociologist, IVO), Grigorij Mesežnikov (political scientist, IVO), Mišo Hudák (activist, Východné pobrežie/East Coast), Ján Gálik (organizer of marches Za slušné Slovensko/For Decent Slovakia, Košice). Discussion was moderated by Laura Dittel (Carpathian Foundation). 

Participants discussed the issue of active citizenship in Slovakia in the context of country’s development after 1989, the role of civil society in the process of democratization, especially in struggle for preserving the democratic character of regime in the SR in the 1990s. 

Particular attention was paid to the state of civic activism at regional and local level, to new forms of civil organization, to the links between its formal/institutional and spontaneous/initiative side. Topics of discussion also included activities of representatives of the current extremist and conspiracy-disinformation scene directed against democracy and principles of free open society as well as the search for an effective response to the malignant manifestations of racism, fascism and anti-democratic (de facto totalitarian) propaganda. 

IVO analysts have quoted the findings from research, analytical and publishing projects of the institute focused on development of civil society and civic activism in Slovakia in the wider context of situation in the V4 region and in Europe.

Discussion participants: Ján Gálik, Zora Bútorová, Grigorij Mesežnikov, Mišo Hudák, Laura Dittel

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