Electronic Library of Scientific Literature
Volume 31, 1999, No. 1
Katedra sociológie FF UK, Bratislava
Macrosociological Returns of Today's Sociology. The paper tries
to elucidate the recent state of macrosociology. It analyses the phenomenon
of "dual revolution" that refers to the parallel rise of microsociological
and numerous macrosociological schools in Western sociology since the 60-ties.
Both the camps have a common "enemy" in the person of T. Parsons,
the leader of structural functionalism, whose consensual macrosociological
approach ceased to correspond to the current "turbulent" social
situation. This was a cause of a development of neomarxian macrosociological
approach, which was very successful in the following decade (Th. Skocpol,
E. O. Wright, I. Wallerstein, R. Flacks et al.) due its emphasis on global
nature of conflicts in modern capitalist society. However, in the 80-ties,
we observe the revival of other forms of macrosociology (culturology, non-marxian
structuralism, systemic approach, sociocybernetic approach and so on).
This period is filled by the discussions about the ways of "bridging"
the gap between macro- and microsociology (Alexander, Boudon, Giddens,
Knorr-Cetina, Cicourel). These debates have contributed to conceptual advance
of macrosociology. Today, the macrosociology is developed in all its aspects.
It is the theory of social macroobjects (structural aspect), as
well as a conception of societal macroprocesses (processual aspect).
Finally, it analyses historical epochs (historical aspect).
Numerous publications (S. Sanderson, D. Osterberg, B. Agger, S. N. Eisenstadt, E. Borgatta et al.) on macrosociological topics that appeared at the end of 80-ties, were the symptoms of a new global crisis in society. The new wave of macrosociological theorizing has confirmed Skocpol's idea about the connection between the revival of macrosociology and emergence of a global societal threat. The eminent interest in the topics of modernization and macrosocietal transformation (S. N. Eisenstadt, Ch. Tilly, A. Touraine) in that period, could be seen as an anticipation of global macrosocietal changes that were to start in East and Central European countries in 1989.
Sociológia 1999 Vol. 31 (No. 1: 9-31)
Kancelária Národnej rady SR
Parliamentary Elections 1998 in Slovak Republic - the Challenge That Came into Effect. The paper attempts to analyse main causes and relationships of the radical change that the parliamentary elections have brought in the political life of the Slovak Republic. First, the author points to the persistence of the public opinion and explains its obliqueness and a challenge for politicians - how to project a critical opinion majority in the political stands and electoral decisions. It was achieved only after the former opposition parties made organisation changes and in the course of the election campaign. Further, the author reveals the chief motives of the electoral behaviour in view of the results of the election analysis and shows the impact of social issues. He explains the motivation of the voters for Mečiar's HZDS as being conditioned by clientele relationships and/or by the traditional populist political opinion of the so-called residual group. Further factors of the election shift were embedded in the practical politics of the former government coalition. It was its attempt to facilitate delegatory democracy that failed face to face with the reviving civil society and political plurality supported by the free media. As a decentralised "trench opponent," the media represented an insurmountable obstacle for the regime of the concentrated power. In the last part of the paper, the author analyses a group background for electoral decisions; he states that the influence of social structure (it has not been crystallised so far) was not recorded in spite of the intensive privatisation. In the end, he points to potential instability of the political scene. The new governmental coalition not only faces the task how to deal effectively with accumulated problems in the economic sphere and public life, but also the task to give a clear image to political forces and their social background.
Sociológia 1999,Vol. 31 (No. 1: 31-50)
Sociologický ústav SAV, Bratislava
Territories and Categories of Communities in the Parliamentary Elections
1998. In the parliamentary elections 1998 in Slovakia we can observe
following features: increase of turn-out in general and especially in towns
and cities, efficient merging some of opposition parties, reduction of
passed votes, higher level of quantitative representation of both the new
parliament and the governing coalition.
Author describes the territories of the highest support for individual political parties and groupings. Some of the territories are traditional (for instance for Hungarian parties), others have been changed (for the Party of Democratic Left) and some of them are utterly new (for the Party of Civic Understanding). Regional perspective is significant also for analysis of the 1994-1998 voting additions of the political parties. We identify some compact geographic areas dominated by one party's addition. We find out that the regional political and cultural orientation of the population and also their dynamics are distinctively differentiated. This differentiation is not determined only ethnically, because the differentiation can also be observed within ethnically Slovak territories.
Urban/rural embeddedness of political parties in Slovakia has been strengthened and urban-rural cleavage of Slovak society has been deepened between elections 1994 and 1998. The results of parliamentary elections 1994 can be described as the electoral victory of rural areas, the next one as the victory of towns and cities.
We explain regional and urban-rural differences mainly from cultural perspective. This perspective is also valid for the parliamentary elections 1998.
There are three political parties in Slovakia with ethnically homogenous electorate. We analyse their results especially in ethnically mixed territory (EMT) in southern Slovakia. Mečiar's HZDS gained both in 1994 and 1998 less support from Slovaks living in EMT than from Slovaks living outside it. The Slovaks supported Slovak National Party (SNS) in 1994 slightly more outside EMT and less inside it. This difference increased in 1998, because the support for SNS increased less in EMT and more outside it. Finally, the support of Hungarians for the Hungarian Party (SMK) was stronger in EMT and weaker outside it. These means that the strongest positions of HZDS and SNS among Slovaks are outside of EMT, in districts without direct Slovak-Hungarian contacts and the strongest positions of SMK among Hungarians are within EMT, in districts with the contacts. We analyse supports for the three parties also comparatively in relation to three ethnic types of communities within EMT.
In 1996 the new districts were established in Slovakia. They were created predominantly in the areas with strong position of HZDS. The analysis of the electoral results of HZDS in "advancing" districts and in other districts suggests that in 1998, majority of advancing districts remained a bastion of HZDS, but the support for HZDS did not increased in these districts.
Sociológia 1999, Vol. 31 (No. 1: 51-77)