Electronic Library of Scientific Literature - © Academic Electronic Press


OBSAH 5/2003, s. 383-530
CONTENTS 5/2003, p. 383-530




Zo sociologických výskumov
Sociological Research



Sociologická charakteristika medzinárodnej bezpečnosti

František Škvrnda

Katedra diplomacie a medzinárodných vzťahov, Fakulta medzinárodných vzťahov, Ekonomická univerzita Bratislava

The Sociological Characteristic of International Security. The article aims at international dimensions of security and its macro-sociological aspects. First part of contribution analyses sociological approaches to the security research. Security issues were content, but only partly, of several theories and conceptions in the development of sociological thinking. In present are security issues related mainly to the national security part of conception of risk society. Author discusses two conceptions of security: traditional, narrow and new (modern), wide. The second part of study is orientated on the sociological aspects of international relations and international security. Sociological point of view on international security is based on tradition of military sociology. Changing security situation in the world and the end of cold war brought along new suggestions for research in the international security issues. Theories of post-modern society and globalisation significantly influenced the debates about international security. Sociological approach to the international security accentuates the problems of power, order, control, interests, interaction, communication and cooperation of subjects of security and their identity. The third part of the article is devoted to the problems of cooperation and conflict in international security, the changes of security environment in connection with new security threats, three conceptions of international security – cooperative security, human security and democratic peace – and international terrorism.

Sociológia 2003 Vol 35 (No. 5: 391-410)

Bezpečnostná orientácia občanov Slovenskej republiky

Karol Murdza

Akadémia Policajného zboru v Bratislave

Security Orientation of Citizens of the Slovak Republic. The author of the article suggests social and practical means for examining security orientations in the conditions of a “risk society”. Using sociological theory, he analyses the contents and structure of basic terms. Therefore, his analysis of the structure of security orientation is focused on observing its cognitive, emotional and evaluative components. In particular, a significant part of his attention is focused on affective demonstrations and consequences of human behaviour as a result of their disorientation within the security environment. The illustrate the disorientation of citizens, he uses outputs from multiple sociological surveys, with particular focus on internal security issues, relationships of citizens to the police, and evaluation of confidence in this institution. The concluding section highlights broader edifying and educational aspects of the development of security orientation, and emphasises the need to enhance value-based and rational, as well as civic-participatory security behaviour.

Sociológia 2003 Vol. 35 (No. 5: 411-432)

Bezpečnostný sektor a jeho reforma

Matúš Korba

Ústav mezinárodních vztahů, Praha

Security Sector and Its Reform. Throughout history, there have been many cases referring to the misuse of the power by one of the state’s power institution. Most frequently there were the armed forces, which as the strongest power instrument dislocated from control. Modern era brought gradual strengthening of the next power institution such as police, intelligence services or internal security agencies. The parallel process to this strengthening was the increasing threat of abusing of the stressed institutions. The violent overthrow of the government is the extreme demonstration of the power instruments interference in the state functioning. There are also other more typical cases, such as influencing political life, discrimination of the internal opponents, or pursuing particular financial or economic gains. The dominant role of some of those institutions in political system lead to societal decline and to the spread of negative characteristics like corruption and clientelism.

A precondition of the democratic system and for market economy functioning is democratic control and public oversight of the state’s power institutions. The first key task of those mechanisms is to prevent manipulating with power instruments by political groups, which are trying to promote their own interests. The second key task is to prevent potential abuse of those institutions by their own members or by their command officers. On the basis of the mentioned facts, the civil society and the democratic state are creating a complex of formal relations and informal rules with the aim to ensure the accountable and transparent functioning of the whole power apparatus. In traditional democracies and in the countries undergoing democratic transformation process, one rule is valid - the mechanisms of the political control and public oversight over the armed forces, police, intelligence services and internal security agencies are the precondition for effective state governance, and for sustainable development of civic society.

The formation of these mechanisms is shaping by historical experiences with civil – military relations. Even if the character of political systems and of the society structure did change in the course of history, the main problem stays unchangeable. It is the issue of how to include the armed forces into the society in order not to be the latent threat (in the form of the misuse of their power potential on illegitimate political or individual aims). The theory of the civil – military relations deals with the main principles of the balance between the armed forces efficiency and its subordination to the democratic control and civil/public oversight. This process has been evolving for the past five decades. This balance depends on the harmonisation of the prerequisites, with the aim to create accountability of the armed forces towards political authority and transparency towards the public. Equal aim is to retain the efficiency of the armed forces.

In the course of the past six years this conception was stared to be applied also on the other power institutions, and not only on armed forces. It is the natural reflection, since the beginning of the 21st century carry over the same challenge as in the past – to ensure political control and public oversight on power apparatus of the state. There was developed the new concept of ”Security Sector” to deal with these issues. Because the actors involved in delivering security services and the relationship between them vary from country to country, there is not a universally applicable definition of the security sector. The security sector consists of the following elements: Forces authorised to use force (armed forces, police, intelligence services, internal security agencies etc.), Security management and oversight bodies (governmental and parliamentarian, civil society actors, media, etc.), Justice and law enforcement institutions, Non-statutory security forces (private security companies, guerrilla armies, etc.)

The process of security sector reform involves three broad challenges. The first challenge is to ensure the proper location of security activities within a constitutional framework defined by law and to develop security policies and instruments to implement them. The second challenge is to build the capacity of policy makers to effectively assess the nature of security threats and to design strategic response supportive of wider national goals. The third challenge is to strengthen mechanisms for ensuring security sector accountability by enabling the state and non-state actors responsible for monitoring security policy and enforcing the law to fulfil their functions effectively.

Sociológia 2003 Vol. 35 (No. 5: 433-452)

Bezpečnosť na prahu 21. storočia

Peter Barták

Trenčianska univerzita A. Dubčeka, Trenčín

Security at the Beginning of the 21st century. This study deals with current problems concerning the perception and evaluation of security in the 1980s (during the cold war), during the 1990s and at the beginning of the 21st century. The content, extent and perception of security have changed in the last 20 years. Most importantly, the biggest threats to the security from cold - war times have been eliminated or minimalised. On the other hand, there are new threats, which are mainly internal and non-military (ethnic, environmental, health, crime). Due to these changes, which involves security on personal as well as national and even global levels, the prevailing notion is that the amount of security is not and will not be higher than it used to be during the cold war.

Today, we can find at least two different views on security. Some experts conceive it as a (usually defined) state of a concrete social organism, others prefer to comprehend security as an activity, or reaction to a stimulus (threat). This stimulus can be considered either exclusively external and violent (especially military) or can include internal and non-military. The broader the sense of the security threats, the lower the estimation of the level of security. Too broad a conception (quasi-universal) of security thus carries a range of perils and inaccuracies.

Attributes ascribed to personal security (e.g. life, health, property…) differ from those related to state or national security (e.g. sovereignty, integration, national interests, constitutional order …). Other attributes are connected with international issues (e.g. UN Charter, human rights and liberties, democracy, international law…) At present there is a lack of definite specification and of united usage on the security of social organisms and subjects.

The level of security should not be evaluated solely according to the types, amount or intensity of the (security) threats. Considering the level of the risks resulting from these threats is of the same importance. These risks can and should be regulated by competent subjects, primarily by the state. The majority of current dangers are not fatal, which is why their consequences can be reduced or eliminated by correctly assessing the risks.

Avowedly, the level of security can decrease. Especially if leading politicians do not accept or do not cope with the peace alternative of the globalisation process or if they do not prevent the militarization of products of current scientific and technological development. The most important challenges are raids into space and genetic modification.

In conclusion, we appeal for the need to prepare people, particularly safety experts, politicians, and soldiers, but also scientists, teachers, and journalists to confront the safety challenges of the 21st century. In the Slovak context, this chiefly means including new topics, new subjects and new departments of study in public schools as well as the creation of a more extensive and better qualified safety community.

Sociológia 2003 Vol 35 (No. 5: 453-464)

K vybraným aspektom profesionalizácie ozbrojených síl

Polonský Dušan

Katedra andragogiky a sociálnych vied, Vojenská akadémia, Liptovský Mikuláš

Selected Aspects of Armed Forces Professionalisation. This article is a sociological reflection of particular problems of Armed Forces professionalisation – above all of Armed Forces of NATO members. In the first part there are Armed Forces characterized from quantitative and qualitative aspects. First aspect means to substitute privates for professional soldiers, second one is placed on development to military profession and to creation a professional soldier personality. Synchronously it points out different forms (areal, pointed and combined) of professionalization and its basic phases – recruitment, retention and migration. The Armed Forces substance is expressed from sociological point of view in their character as a specific type of social organization with defined contents of their social roles in the society, expertise, responsibility and promotion based on the professional achievement. With process of Armed Forces professionalisation, the character of military profession is changing as well – from institutional to occupational characteristics as demonstrated in processional, or pluralistic models. The article indicates a possible approach to the analysis of social environment of Armed Forces building – external (international) and internal (social). These environments are characterized by new military and non-military risks and threats to which building and development of professional forces must react. One of the most important treats is that of terrorism. The last part of article indicates general trends of changes in the character of professional Armed Forces and also in the reform processes of the Armed Forces of Slovak Republic.

Sociológia 2003 Vol. 35 (No. 5: 465-478)

Problematika národnej bezbečnosti v očiach verejnosti: vnímanie NATO a vojska v Slovinsku

Marjan Malešič, Ljubica Jelušičová

Univerzita Ljubljana, Fakulta spoločenských vied, Centrum výskumu obrany

National Security Issues in Public Eyes: the Perception of NATO and Military in Slovenia. Since its independence in 1991, Slovenia has debated a number of options concerning its national security. In the beginning of a new millennium, one option prevailed, the collective defence within the NATO. On the side of public opinion, there were significant differences in attitudes towards the NATO membership. On the referendum of 23 March 2003 the citizens had an opportunity to express the support or disagreement with governmental policy heading towards NATO. The majority of 66% agreed with NATO membership. The turbulences in public opinion were caused by the changed perception of threat. Lower perception of the military threats to Slovenia decreased the readiness to accept NATO membership, and indirectly changed the perception of military tasks. The defence of the homeland as traditionally the main military task lost the first priority, and disaster relief took over the leading position in public opinion.

Sociológia 2003 Vol 35 (No. 5: 479-494)

Slovenská verejnosť a vstup SR do NATO

Karol Čukan

Ministerstvo obrany Slovenskej republiky, Bratislava

The Slovak Public and Slovakia’s Accession to NATO. The most frequent topics recently included into public opinion polls in Slovakia are the following: public opinion on the Slovakia’s integration into the European Union and public opinion on Slovakia’s accession to the North-Atlantic Alliance. The paper analyses development of the Slovak public opinions on the Slovakia’s entry to NATO for the last decade. Development of the Slovak public opinions on this issue is evaluated in the context of overall public view on the way of guaranteeing security and defence of Slovakia.

Public position on the entry to NATO went through interesting and dramatic turns in the last decade. The Slovak public opinion on the issue of guaranteeing defence of Slovakia has developed from the initial lack of interest in this issue and vague positions on it, through the idea of non-integration into blocks, finally to the idea of incorporation into the collective defence system.

Concerning acceptation of the idea of Slovakia’s defence guaranteeing through the incorporation into the collective defence system, the public opinion went through certain development as well, namely from orientation to non-existing European security system to preference or acceptation of the Slovak Republic defence guaranteeing through the NATO membership.

The paper describes groups of defenders and objectors of the Slovakia’s entry to NATO. Different positions on this issue result from different political preferences of citizens, from different education level, age and social-economic status.

To better understand the Slovak public position on the Alliance and on the Slovakia’s entry to this security structure, the paper in details analyses also public opinions on circumstances of the potential Slovak membership in the NATO. There are identified the circumstances of the Slovakia’s entry to NATO that the public deems positive and the circumstances that the public deems negative for Slovakia.

Sociológia 2003 Vol 35 (No. 5: 495-504)

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