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Sociológia - Slovak Sociological Review


Volume 38, 2006, No. 6

Content:


 

recenzia:

 
  Mansfeldová, Zdenka – Kroupa, Aleš (Eds.): Participation and Interest Group Organisations in the Czech Republic
Monika Čambáliková

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Sociológia - Slovak Sociological Review. Volume 38, 2006, No. 6: 562-565.

 
  Kunštát, Daniel (ed.): Czech Public Opinion: Theory and Research
Milan Zeman

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Sociológia - Slovak Sociological Review. Volume 38, 2006, No. 6: 566-569.

 
  Křížková, A. – Maříková, H. – Uhde, Z. (eds.): Sexualised Reality of Labour Relations: Analysis of Sexual Harassment in the Czech Republic
Miloslav Bahna

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Sociológia - Slovak Sociological Review. Volume 38, 2006, No. 6: 569-572.

 
  Katrňák, Tomáš: Class Analysis and Social Mobility
Bohumil Búzik

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Sociológia - Slovak Sociological Review. Volume 38, 2006, No. 6: 573-576.

 
 

štúdia:

 
  Strategic Planning, Regional Governance and Regional Identity Building in Prešov Region
Simon Smith

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Strategic planning; governance; regionalisation; regionalism; institutional region; social learning; endogenous development

Strategic Planning, Regional Governance and Regional Identity Building in Prešov Region. This article describes how four strategic planning initiatives in Prešov region relate to regional identity building and regional governance, and to the vertical integration of strategic planning at national, regional, sub-regional and local scales. The plans are read as records of an institutionalising process, the product of which is the creation of a lasting collaborative relationship between actors. The importance of strategic planning as a governance tool was accentuated by the conjuncture of the advent of regional self-government and the accession of Slovakia to the EU, which prompted a reform (and a partial decentralisation) of regional policy. The case studies indicate that a bottom-up, endogenous approach to local and regional strategic planning has predominated, but there is little will to harmonise local and regional development perspectives. The coordinating function which regional authorities are supposed to assume has been a difficult challenge for them, as they confront a crisis of legitimacy. Alternative regionalisations and regionalisms thus coexist in the same or overlapping spaces. This could be interpreted positively, as a sign of regional identity building and adaptability, but only if a greater degree of connectivity were present could Prešov become a ‘learning region’.

Sociológia - Slovak Sociological Review. Volume 38, 2006, No. 6: 483-506.

 
  European Integration and Ethnic Minorities: A Case Study on Hungarians in Slovakia
Aneta Világi, Darina Malová

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European Union; conditionality; EU funds; minority policy; minority rights; identity; power-sharing, ethnic Hungarians

European Integration and Ethnic Minorities: A Case Study on Hungarians in Slovakia. This paper examines the influence of European integration on the political and economical status of the Hungarian minority in Slovakia. Our study tests (and partially challenges) the dominant trend in the current scholarship in European and transition studies that claims the decisive influence of the European Union on minority policy and ethnic relations in Slovakia. These studies looked only at the national political elite level and usually neglected the local elite level. Moreover, they examined only “political conditionality” as the core strategy of the EU to promote “respect for and protection of minorities”. Such an approach neglected a possible impact of the accession process on the economic status and the political mobilization of the ethnic minority in mixed regions that could be stimulated by access to the EU accession (structural) funds. Therefore, we interviewed 31 political and social actors, representing ethnic Hungarians and Slovaks at the national and regional/local level (Košice region), which had professional dealings with EU institutions, funds or representatives. The main aim of these in-depth, semi-structured interviews was to reveal their perceptions to get deeper understanding of possible changes induced by the EU accession process on majority-minority relations in Slovakia. The paper generalizes respondents’ perception of “the EU impact” on: majority-minority relations, ethnic identity and socio-economic status. It argues that given the lack of an EU agenda and a special policy on minority protection beyond the vague Copenhagen criteria, effects of EU political conditionality in this field depends mostly on the organizational and political strength of respective minority, its articulation of demands, and on the coordinated action of other international organizations. In Slovakia it empowered the Hungarian political elite and promoted the power-sharing arrangement at the national level (1998-2006) that used to be the most conflicting arena. Paradoxically, access to EU funds has also promoted cross border cooperation among ethnic Hungarians in both Hungary and Slovakia, and did not (yet) affects the traditional patterns of cooperation and competition among ethnic Slovaks and Hungarians in Slovakia.

Sociológia - Slovak Sociological Review. Volume 38, 2006, No. 6: 507-532.

 
  Get the Balance Right: Institutional Change in Slovakia during EU Accession and Membership
Erik Láštic

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EU integration; EU Accession; executive-parliamentary relation; EU membership

Get the Balance Right: Institutional Change in Slovakia during EU Accession and Membership. This study argues that despite the formal dominance of the Slovak parliament over the government as originally laid down in Slovak constitution, the government manages to dominate Slovak constitutional system at the expense of the parliament. Firstly, this happened through an extensive use of government’s legislative powers. Later on, the EU accession of Slovakia - predominantly an executive affair - strengthened this dominance and led to 2001 constitutional amendment. Despite another constitutional change initiated by the parliament in 2003, which was to re-establish the institutional balance, the parliament is still unable to control and influence the government with regard to EU matters.

Sociológia - Slovak Sociological Review. Volume 38, 2006, No. 6: 533-545.

 
  Identification with Large Scale Social Categories: A Social Psychology Perspective
Barbara Lášticová

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Social identity approach; large scale social categories; multiple category memberships; national identity; European identity; discourse

Identification with Large Scale Social Categories: A Social Psychology Perspective. This paper reviews social psychology approach to the study of group identities based on social identity and self-categorization theories. These are discussed with respect to multiple category memberships and identification with large scale social categories such as nation and Europe. The assumption about hierarchical relations between nested categories is criticised and it is argued that the perceptualist approach to social categorization should be combined with approaches taking into account the role of language and discourse in the processes of identification. Finally, some methodological implications are outlined.

Sociológia - Slovak Sociological Review. Volume 38, 2006, No. 6: 546-561.