Grigorij Mesežnikov: National Populism in Slovakia – Defining the Character of the State and Interpreting Select Historic Events

In recent years, political players in Slovakia have grown increasingly fond of such patterns of appealing to the electorate that are based on applying populism strategies with strong ethnic-nationalist undertones. This way of addressing voters became typical for the country’s political life quite some time ago. Since the 1989 collapse of the communist regime and reinstatement of pluralistic democracy, it has proven to be sufficiently effective and at times brought ample power and political gains to its upholders. The recent revival of national populism is interesting especially because the conditions for its existence are quite different compared to the mid-1990s – they are characterized by generally successful social transformation that helped build foundations of a liberal-democratic regime and achieve the country’s integration goals, i.e. its full-fledged membership in the European Union (EU) and the North Atlantic Alliance (NATO).