J. Bátora, D. Spence (eds.) The European External Action Service European Diplomacy Post-Westphalia

The European External Action Service: European Diplomacy Post-Westphalia. Editors: David Spence, Jozef Bátora. 2015, Palgrave Macmillan UK.

The European Union is a transformational polity challenging diplomacy as an institutionalized order. This book reviews the conceptual origins of the EU's diplomatic apparatus and explains its institutional history, whilst raising key questions about the new organization of foreign policy and diplomacy beyond individual European states. It reviews the nature of state-level adaptation to wider management and administrative trends and analyses the legal and practical evolution of the EU's 'European External Action Service'. The book addresses the far reaching implications of all these issues for the 'Westphalian' diplomatic order, and questions whether the institutions and practices of the emerging EU diplomatic system conform to established standards of the state-centric diplomatic order; or whether practice is paving the way for innovative, even revolutionary, forms of diplomatic organisation. Overall, the book provides the most comprehensive and most profound set of analyses to date of the change dynamics in the EU's diplomatic order towards post-Westphalian patterns.

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Sample chapter

Politologica Actualis, Ročník IV., 2015

In the first article, Martin Kovanič is dealing with the issue of post-war transitional justice in former Czechoslovakia. He compares two trials - The Trial of the Protectorate Government and The Trial of the Slovak State President Tiso - and analyses the process of transitional justice, which was governed by two different legislative norms. Despite this fact, crimes identified by extraordinary courts and the setup of these courts themselves were very similar in both cases. As the author finds out, these trials became a part of power struggles between the Communist Party and the democratic opposition. Eventually, he concludes these trials were a crucial part of the official process of delegitimization of the old non-democratic regimes and that politicization of the process was connected with a complete defeat of the perpetrator regimes.

In the second paper, Kateryna Yakovenko deals with the question of conditionality and recent development in Ukraine. Her study analyses the first official agreement between European Union and Ukraine in terms of support for democracy and development. She focuses on the EU as an active actor in promoting democracy in Ukraine within the framework of the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) between the Communities (and their Member States) and Ukraine, signed in 1994. Her analysis concludes that the so much “advertised” policy of democracy promotion in Ukraine during the validity of the PCA was, in fact, built out of two general clauses - without any plan, time-table or at least some working framework, which resulted into the ineffectiveness of this policy.

In the third paper, Mária Gajarská Kučerová is focusing on the role of NGOs in the conflict resolutions. By analysing the case of Acholi Religious Leaders’ Peace Initiative, she aims to revisit the usage of a concept “track 1 and ½ diplomacy”. She analyses role of this initiative in the Uganda conflict, which started in the late 80’s. Using the forementioned case, she concludes that due to the latest development and examples from Sub-Saharan Africa, this concept needs to be reconsidered or possibly even reconceptualised as the local NGOs seem to be able to serve as successful leaders in mediation process as well.

In the fourth paper, Katarína Pevná discusses a question of the substantive women’s representation in Arab countries, where the political representation of women lacks behind other regions in the world. She analyses the role of women in the decision-making process in Morocco and discusses the discrepancy between formal push for promotion of women’s rights, such as quotas for representation in the parliament, and the actual substantive representation of women's interests. She concludes that increased number of women in the Moroccan parliament was not connected with a push for more liberal policies by the women themselves, as the ideological background of their political parties seems to play a leading role in their legislative behavior.

Zborník je dostupný k stiahnutiu tu. 

B. Dolný- P. Baboš: Voter–Representative Congruence in Europe: A Loss of Institutional Influence?

Published in: West European Politics, Volume 38, Issue 6, 2015

Abstract: What is the level of voter–elite congruence in Europe and how is it affected by institutions? This article presents a different conceptualisation and new data to comparative research on congruence between voters and their representatives in 15 European countries. The originality of this work is mainly in its use of the most appropriate cross-national data for the conceptualisation of congruence as a ‘many-to-many’ relationship, using for the first time a survey of representatives to replace expert and public opinion on legislators’ attitudes. The study’s results show that congruence in European countries is relatively high in terms of left–right positions and, surprisingly, even higher regarding the question of EU integration. However, while we find enough evidence to link ideological congruence to mostly electoral institutions, it seems the same factors have no relation to the European unification dimension of congruence. This indicates the different nature of congruence in both the ideological and EU integration dimensions. Additionally, the present study found congruence to be higher for the group of voters rather than non-voters, and also higher for voters interested in politics as well as voters with a university degree.




K. Pevná, (ed.): Pretrvanie a zmeny režimov v Severnej afrike, na Blízkom východe a v Strednej Ázii

Pevná, K. et al. (2014) Pretrvanie a zmeny režimov v Severnej afrike, na Blízkom východe a v Strednej Ázii. UK: Bratislava

Publikácia analyzuje faktory ktoré viedli k zmene, alebo zabezpečili pretrvanie režimov v rokoch 2010–2011 na Blízkom východe, v Severnej Afrike a v Strednej Ázii. Pracuje so vzorkou viac ako 20 režimov, na čele ktorých stál v kľúčovom období zvyčajne dlhoročný vládca, ktorý dokázal dlhodobo úspešne manažovať konflikty a udržať sa pri moci. Ďalším spoločným prvkom je prevaha obyvateľstva vyznávajúceho islam, pričom na islam sa odvolávali okrem autokratov aj viaceré hnutia a skupiny, predstavujúce hlavných vyzývateľov štátnej moci. Autokrati zavádzali opatrenia na pretrvanie svojich režimov, napríklad cez voľby, kooptáciu elít, ale aj pomocou využívania širokého spektra represívnych opatrení na potlačenie opozície a odstránenie svojich protivníkov.

Zavádzanie takýchto opatrení však z pohľadu teórie nemá v každom type režimu rovnaký efekt. Našim základným zámerom je zistiť, prečo niektoré režimy krízové obdobie rokov 2010 a 2011 prežili, kým v iných sa lídrom podarilo udržať režim len za cenu istých kompromisov, a prečo v niektorých krajinách nastala zmena. Zmenu chápeme ako zrútenie predošlého režimu, ktorej indikátorom je odstránenie lídra z vedúceho postu. 

Publikácia je dostupná na tomto linku.

Z. Gál: The 2007-2009 Financial Crisis

Gál, Z. (2012) The 2007-2009 Financial Crisis, Univerzita Komenského

It started with rising delinquencies and foreclosures on the American property market in 2007, when the majority (including top US government and central bank officials) still believed that it was a crisis of mortgage finance (or a special segment of it) and that the problems would not spread to the rest of the economy. For most, a severe crisis was unimaginable in developed countries with sophisticated financial sectors, especially in the leading economy in the world. However, by the autumn of 2008 the crisis had brought Wall Street to the verge of collapse. Unprecedented scenes followed: bankruptcies or bailouts of the masters of the financial universe, including the two largest financial corporations of America (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac), the largest insurance company in the world (AIG) and all of the five big Wall Street investment banks. It soon went global, after the collapse of Lehman Brothers interbank lending was frozen worldwide, central banks (the lenders of last resort) remained the lenders of only resort. The United Kingdom witnessed the first run on a bank in more than a century, mortgage lenders, banks, corporations and even countries all around the world went bankrupt or were bailed out almost on a daily basis. By 2009, it was clear that this was the largest global financial crisis since the Great Depression. How could American borrowers defaulting on their mortgages (in volumes of tens or hundreds of billions of dollars) trigger a multitrillion dollar global financial meltdown? How was it possible in the United States to get a mortgage loan up to 100% of the value of the property without verified income, job or assets? How could financial innovations praised for a long time lead to a chain reaction wiping out whole segments of the financial industry? How could so many financial institutions be so fragile that a few percentage points loss in their asset portfolio would bring them to the brink of bankruptcy? How did government action and inaction not only allow this to happen but contribute to it, turning America to a big financial Las Vegas? A giant casino, where (unlike in real gambling casinos) the bets are guaranteed by the government, so almost everybody is gambling because one can never lose, the gains are privatized, and the losses nationalized. How it was possible to gamble for so long without serious consequences? In his search for answers to these questions, Zsolt Gál in his book examines the causes of the last financial crisis He offers a detailed view on the incentives of various actors, showing that gambling from Main Street to Wall Street was rather a rational strategy as the consequence of pervasive systemic motivations. One should change the system challenging these motivations to prevent history from repeating itself.

The book is available here.

Malová, D. (ed.): From Listening to Action? New Member States in the European Union

Malová, D. (ed.) (2010) From Listening to Action? New Member States in the European Union, Univerzita Komenského

Book From Listening to Action? New Member States in the European Union by Darina Malová et.al. is a result of the research project “New member states’ strategies in the EU: striking a new balance between intergovernmental and supranational decision-making?”. The project was conducted from January 2007 to June 2010) and supported by the Slovak Research and Development Agency under the contract No.APVV-0660-06.


Chapter 1: Introduction; Chapter 2:Domestic Politics and National Preferences in the European Union; Chapter 3: A Fairy Tale with Happy Ending? The New Member States and the Eurozone Entry; Chapter 4: Security First: Energy Policy in the New Member States of the European Union; Chapter 5: Foreign and Security Policy Preferences; Chapter 6: Can‘t Have it Both Ways? Administrative Capacity of New Member States in European Affairs; Chapter 7: Conclusion: Political Culture and Style in the New Member States.

Book is available for download here.

E. Láštic: V rukách politických strán: Referendum na Slovensku, 1993-2010

Láštic, E. (2011) V rukách politických strán: Referendum na Slovensku, 1993-2010 (UK: Bratislava)

Kniha Erika Láštica sa venuje referendu na Slovensku v rokoch 1993 až 2010. Zaoberá sa politickou a právnou históriou inštitútu referenda na Slovensku, pričom ponúka podrobnú analýzu jeho úpravy, doterajších uskutočnených referend a vplyve politických strán.

 "Tento národ si žiada, aby referendum bolo a bude niesť túto ťarchu na svojich bedrách." (J.Ľupták, poslanec a predseda ZRS, 36. schôdza NR SR, august 1994)

"Ak by však referendum nebolo úspešné, HZDS nebude cítiť za stratu finančných prostriedkov, ktoré si vyžiada, zodpovednosť. Za referendum zodpovedajú v prvom rade občania, ich problém, keď neprídu. Potom nech si nesťažujú". (O.Keltošová, poslankyňa HZDS o referende, ktoré iniciovalo jej hnutie, jún 2000)

“Zmenu jednotlivých ustanovení ústavy priamo rozhodnutím občanov v referende naša ústava neumožňuje a niet pre takéto riešenie ani historického precedensu a ani obdoby v iných demokratických krajinách”. (K. Tóthová, podpredsedníčka vlády SR pre legislatívu, SME, máj 1997)

 "(A) referendom sa môže meniť aj ústava, vážení. ...Teda je veľkým omylom tvrdiť,..., že referendum nie je zákonodarná moc. To je zákonodarná moc ľudu- najdemokratickejšia.... Ak by sme totiž nepripustili, že referendom môžeme meniť ústavu, vážené národné zhromaždenie, tak sa odchýlime od celoeurópskej zvyklosti.“ (K. Tóthová, poslankyňa HZDS, 32. schôdza NR SR, jún 1994)

„Ak pripúšťate, že ústavu možno meniť referendom, tak sa obávam, že sa posúvame na klzkú pôdu. To som ešte nepočul, aby referendom sa mohla meniť ústava. Ako to môže jeden právnik pripustiť? To je skutočne hodné Nobelovej ceny za právo.“  (F. Mikloško, poslanec KDH a neskorší propagátor referenda o priamej voľbe prezidenta v priamej reakcii na vystúpenie K. Tóthovej,  32. schôdza NR SR, jún 1994)

Kniha je k dispozícii TU.

D. Malová, E. Láštic, E., M. Rybář: Slovensko ako nový členský štát EÚ: Výzva z periférie?

Malová, D., Láštic, E., Rybář, M. (2005) Slovensko ako nový členský štát EÚ: Výzva z periférie?

Kniha Dariny Malovej, Erika Láštica a Mareka Rybářa analyzuje politické inštitúcie a politických aktérov na Slovensku a ich reakcie na meniace sa prostredie po vstupe Slovenska do Európskej únie.

Kniha je k dispozícii TU.