Electronic Library of Scientific Literature - © Academic Electronic Press


Volume 32, 2000, No. 3, pp. 225-316

History in the Making: Sociology and the Transformation of Eastern and Central Europe

Mike F. Keen
Indiana University South Bend
Janusz Mucha
Nicholas Copernicus University

History in the Making: Sociology and the Transformation of Eastern and Central Europe. This article provides an overview of the history of sociology in Eastern and Central Europe from the post World War II period to the beginnings of perestroika and glasnost in 1989. Sociology ceased to exist as an autonomous discipline after 1948, having been displaced by the reigning ideology of Marxism/Leninism. It only began the long an slow process of rebuilding with Khrushchev's thaw in 1956. This redevelopment was uneven across the region and was largely influenced by the strength of the national traditions that had been in place prior to the Communist take-over.

Nonetheless, through a variety of strategies, including the sociologization of other disciplines, taking refuge in scientific and empirical methodologies, and avoidance of politically sensitive issues, sociology in Eastern and Central Europe managed to maintain itself as a viable and vibrant discourse.

Sociológia 2000, Vol. 32 (No. 3: 227-240)

Youth and Creation of Civil Society in Slovakia

Ladislav Macháček
The Institute for Sociology of the Slovak Academy of Sciences, Bratislava

Youth and Creation of Civil Society in Slovakia. In September 1998 the authoritarian populist prime minister of Slovakia, Vladimír Mečiar, who had helped to isolate Slovakia internationally and to ensure that Slovakia was not in the first round of European enlargement along with its neighbours (Czech, Poland and Hungary), was voted out of office. The campaign to create an electoral alternative involved the widespread mobilisation of civil society and especially of youth. Youth have been consistently the strongest supporters of democratisation and of social change throughout post-communist Europe. Hence, the involvement of youth as active citizens and agents of change is crucial in the shaping of societies after communism. Empowering youth can have important consequences. This paper reports the results of a research project by the Institute for Sociology of the Slovak Academy of Sciences to investigate the creation of civil society in Slovakia and the role of youth within it.

Sociológia 2000, Vol. 32 (No. 3: 241-255)

New Slovak Immigrants in New York: Social Networks and Adjustment

Anna Zajacová
Princeton University, New Jersey

New Slovak Immigrants in New York: Social Networks and Adjustment. The social networking perspective (Kuo & Tsai, 1986) focuses on the role of the social networks on immigrants’ adjustment and integration to the receiving society. The present exploratory study examined 30 Slovak immigrants in the New York metropolitan area who arrived after 1989, with emphasis on their networks and other factors important for social and psychological adjustment such as language skills, employment and legal situation. The immigrants were found to have functional networks with a high proportion of friends and non-Slovaks, especially Americans. Some differences between the networks of immigrants from the Eastern Slovak region, as compared to immigrants from other regions of Slovakia were found, and possible causes and implications of this are discussed. In general, Slovak immigrants are satisfied with their life in New York, and somewhat less satisfied with their social networks. This study can serve as a base for more in-depth investigation of the development and structure of the Slovak ethnic networks in New York.

Sociológia 2000 Vol. 32 (No. 3: 257-272)

Public Administration Reform in Slovakia with Special Reference to Local Government

Ľudmila Malíková
Department of Political Science, Comenius University, Bratislava

Public Administration Reform in Slovakia with Special Reference to Local Government. Article presents the reform of public administration in Slovakia in reference to local self-government. From my point of view, the most important political agendas in Slovak public administration are: 1. Decentralisation of political power 2. Civil service reform.

Decentralisation> Improvement in the process of co-ordination and co-operation of governmental bodies on the vertical and horizontal scale is urgently needed. Given the highly fragmented structure of municipal self-government in Slovakia it should be useful to develop the political strategy of regionalisation accepting Slovakia’s geopolitical environment as well as the statements of the Maastricht Treaty and EU principle of subsidiarity.

Civil Service Reform: The new political strategy of reform will bring results only if a body of experienced and motivated civil servants exists to plan and implement them. In Slovakia, the civil service laws have not been adopted yet. The political-administrative relations at the local level are very confusing and unclear. The resistance of traditional bureaucratic procedures at the local level is more deeply rooted than the political enthusiasm to develop a more effective administrative system.

Sociológia 2000 Vol. 32 (No. 3: 273-288)

Modern National Identity of Slovaks and Their Attitude Towards Europe

Ján Bunčák – Magdaléna Piscová
Department of Sociology, Comenius University, Bratislava
The Institute for Sociology, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Bratislava

Modern National Identity of Slovaks and Their Attitude Towards Europe. Interest in the issues of nation, ethnic communities and national self determination in last years is not motivated only by negative manifestations of ethnic hatred or extreme nationalism in Europe so as in other parts of the world. At present it seems that further development in the treatment of issues related to the nation, ethnogenesis of nations, differentiation from the other forms of collective, group existence occurred in connection with the revitalised necessity to define or re-define national identity under the pressure of currently ongoing processes between Scilla of transnational integration and Charibda of national identities. The paper analyses the process of forming the modern national identity of Slovaks which started in the beginning of the last century and emphasizes the fact of one its constitutive elements- the relation to the ”others”. The authors pose many primary sources so as historical milestones which have played decisive role for national identity of Slovaks. The attitude towards the Europe is illustrated on the results from several representative surveys carried out in last years in Slovakia and compared with the situation in the neighbouring countries.

Sociológia 2000 Vol. 32 (No. 3: 289-310)