Current Issues of Politics VI


Trenčín University of Alexander Dubček in Trenčín



Department of Political Science 

under the auspices of

doc. Ing. Jozef Habánik, PhD

rector of the

Alexander Dubček University of Trenčín 

have the honour to invite you to the conference 

     Current Issues of Politics VII

       February 24, 2017

25 years of the Slovak Republic with Milan Kňažko

On November 22, 2017 Milan Kňažko, an important post-November politician, visited the Department of Political Science of the Trencin University for the first time in history. During his rich political career he held various important posts. His political career began in November 1989, where as a co-organizer and moderator of the mass protests in Bratislava he helped in a great extent to launch the democratization processes in the former Czechoslovakia. He was one of the co-founders of the revolutionary opposition movement Public Against Violence (VPN). Subsequently, he became a deputy of the People's House of the Federal Assembly and also served as a counselor to the former and last Czechoslovak President Václav Havel. In June 1990 he established the Ministry of International Relations of the Slovak Republic and at the same time became its first minister. In 1991, for disagreement, he left the VPN and went to the opposition. He became one of the co-founders of the Movement for Democratic Slovakia (HZDS). After the elections in 1992 he again held the Ministry of International Relations of the Slovak Republic, which after the establishment of the Slovak Republic was renamed the current name of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Slovak Republic. For disagreement with the leadership of the HZDS in 1993 he went back to the opposition. He participated in the establishment of the political party Democratic Union of the Slovak Republic, which joined the so-called Anti-Mečiar Coalition called Slovak Democratic Coalition (SDK). As a member of SDK he held the position of the Minister of Culture in the period 1998-2002. In 2002, he withdrew from political life. In the last presidential election in 2014, he candidated for the presidency of the Slovak Republic. Along with politics, he has been very successful as an actor all his life. He currently works in several theaters in Czechia and Slovakia and has also performed in many successful domestic and foreign films.

Milan Kňažko, in a pleasant and friendly atmosphere with the students, explained the course and outcome of negotiations on the post-November political order in the former Czech and Slovak Federal Republic between the Czechs and Slovaks, which eventually ended with a peaceful division of the Federation into two separate states. He further talked about the events of November 1989 and made a very positive assessment of Alexander Dubcek's personality. He noted that together with Milan Rastislav Štefánik, he is the most important personality of our modern history. The students were also interested in the current political events in Slovakia. The discussion was organized in cooperation with the Center for Open Politics and was also attended by the Head of the Department, doc. PhDr. PaedDr. Karol Janas, PhD.

The 8th year of ŠVOČ had an excellent response at the Department of Political Science

On Wednesday, November 8, 2017, the 8th year of Student Scientific Activity (ŠVOČ) took place at the Department of Political Science. Students presented their work on various areas of public and political life. The classical composition of the students of the Department was supplemented by a number of FSEV and external students. It was the interdisciplinary composition of the students that enriched the atmosphere of this year's ŠVOČ.

During the Week of Science and Technology, at the Department of Political Science of the Trenčín University of Alexander Dubček in Trenčín, the students met on the occasion of the 8th year of the ŠVOČ. The expert committee had extremely positive response to the issues presented by students. That was one of the reasons why the decision about the winner was also challenging. Chairman of the Committee, Mgr. Pavol Struhár, PhD. considered the decision extremely demanding. Students presented their papers not only before a professional committee composed of members of the Department, but also in front of their colleagues from different years.

This year led mainly highly actual and foreign themes. The overall victory went to Bc. Jaroslav Čársky, who is also going to participate on the National Round. It is extremely important for students to actively engage in activities that their department and university offer outside the standard teaching process. They will enrich not only their knowledge, but they will also bring them a wealth of effective insights from diverse areas and issues.
We thank all participants on behalf of the Department of Political Science for their contributions and knowledge they gathered during their work and presented it at this year's SVOČ.

1. Jaroslav Čársky (2nd year, Mgr.) - Aspects of the credibility of politics in the Slovak Republic
2. Denisa Bellová (2nd year, Bc.) - Comparison of higher education of Slovak and Czech Republic
3. Monika Talafová (1st year, Mgr. Grade - FSEV) - Influence of managerial versus leadership qualities
Expert committee:

1.      Mgr. Pavol Struhár, Phd (Chairman)

2.      Doc. PaeDr. PhDr. Marcel Lincényi, PhD.

3.      Mgr. Petra Rendková

4.      Mgr. Richard Klimáček

Author of the article: Mgr. Petra Rendková, DPS TnUAD

Graduates of Trenčín University are becoming more and more demanded on the labor market

The expected ranking of employability of graduates, which is an interesting indicator for the selection of the right study department and college, is already published. As for the last ten years, the web portal Professia has also this year evaluated the employability of graduates of individual schools, so we can see what are the new trends in employment in the labor market and what branches of study attract real interest of employers.

Trenčín University belongs to the TOP 10 universities for a long time now, according to this evaluation and its graduates are among the employees, who are fastest to find a job. This year it scores high again, even higher than last year.

Overall, the interest in new job seekers has risen in recent years, but it is not the same in all areas. Informatics, mechanics and economics are still in TOP 3. The list of individual universities, in which Trenčín University improved from seventh to sixth place, is also interesting.

According to the words of the rector of the Trenčín University Jozef Habánik, the publication of the given data for the school is pleasing, but on the other hand it is a great commitment to maintain this positive trend, to stand in demanding competition and to be able to respond flexibly to labor market requirements. The trend in recent years at the Trenčín University is to study directly in practice and in specific partner companies.

Compared to the previous period, the Trenčín University has improved, which is a good news for its students, given the high concentration of automotive and engineering industries, so they can find employment immediately after graduation and directly in the region.

New internships for students of the Department of Political Science



The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic and the Trenčín University of Alexander Dubček in Trenčín singned on March 1, 2017, a Cooperation Agreement that will allow students of the Department of Political Science to undertake internships at the ministries and embassies abroad. Specific conditions for student internships will be governed by a separate implementation protocol. Trenčín University thus became one of the seven universities, allowing students to gain practical experience while studying at the highest political level. 



Beginning of Ph.D. study program of Political Science

The Department of Political Science at the Trenčín University of Alexander Dubček in Trenčín on the basis of the approval of the Accreditation Commission dated November 28, 2016 and on the basis of the decision of the Minister of Education, Science, Research and Sport Peter Plavčan on December 20, 2016, starting with the academic year 2017/2018, begins to offer doctoral - PhD study of Political Science in two forms: full-time study and distance learning study (external).

Acceptance conditions will be published on the Department website after approval by the competent authorities of the University. The study will be available in Slovak or English. The duration of the full-time study will be three years and in the distance learning study four years.

Discussion with Dušan Fisher from the Slovak Foreign Policy Association



On November 24, 2016, a discussion was held at the Department of Political Science at Trenčin University of Alexander Dubček with Dušan Fisher from the Slovak Foreign Policy Association on Immigration and the European Union. Dušan Fisher talked in particular about the knowledge and experience he had gained during his internship abroad. He was openly arguing with the current domestic public opinion, which is views negatively the acceptance of refugees by the European Union. The subject of migration was also discussed in the light of other international political and geopolitical contexts. The discussion was organized in cooperation with the Open Politics Center. Dušan Fisher is currently a collaborator of the Slovak Foreign Policy Association and one of the most frequently spoken commentators on American domestic and foreign policy. The main objective of SFPA is to provide an arena for an open exchange of views on foreign policy. It is a voluntary association of individuals and legal entities interested in the field of foreign policy. Through its activities, it wants to actively contribute to the integration of the Slovak Republic into the community of democratic states and their political and security structures.



About cyber security with analyst Maroš Kirňák



On November 16, 2016, Maroš Kirňák from the Slovak Security Policy Institute visited the Department of Political Science. The subject of his presentation was information on rapidly evolving cyber security, its development and its specifics. He talked about several of the most known cyber attacks that happened in the political field. He assessed the current state of cyber security and the current trends in Slovakia, ending its presentation on Internet safety advice for regular users. SSPI is the most prominent Slovak think tank dedicated to cyber security.



Miroslav Řádek for MY Trenčianske noviny: If the regional elections were held in October, the current chairman would win

The Department of Political Science at Trenčín University of Alexander Dubček, made a pre-election poll in October for the next year's regional elections. Political science students approached 400 people. In the first round the most votes would have been won by the current Chairman Jaroslav Baška. The poll was discussed with a political scientist and a university lecturer Miroslav Řádek.

Who, according to your poll, would sit in the seat of the Chairman of the Trenčín Region?

We did a poll at our Department in the first half of October. We focused on how much information the inhabitants of the Trenčín region had about regional politics as well as on their political preferences for political parties and regional politics figures. In the first round of regional elections, TSK chairman Jaroslav Baška would receive the highest number of votes, 43.29%. For the sake of completeness, I just add that this is a poll a year before the regular elections to the VUC. Its actual result will be affected by a number of factors, such as campaign, social atmosphere, election topics, and so on.

What support did they express for the other presidential candidates? Are there any surprises?

In the survey Renáta Kaščáková followed with 19.05%, followed by Jaroslav Ridoško 9.54% and Juraj Smatana 4.76%. I was a little surprised by the frequency of mentioning another candidate by the respondents. In our survey this option was chosen by almost every fifth respondent - 18.61%. It is a relatively high figure, which may have several hypothetical reasons, such as the low attractiveness of regional politics that is seen in electoral participation, or the dissatisfaction of voters of opposition political parties.

The poll contained several names. Can it be said now that these people will really run the next year?

We surveyed candidates who are more prominent figures in regional politics. However, as I said in my previous reply - the respondents had the opportunity to choose or name another candidate. We do not currently have information as to whether all the candidates that included our survey will run.

How did you conduct the survey?

The survey was conducted by students on 400 respondents and there were represented all TSK districts.

Did you notice the difference in the results across the districts?

Among districts, Jaroslav Baška's support was higher in the districts of Púchov and Bánovce nad Bebravou. Renáta Kaščáková received support mainly in the district of Trenčín and Myjava.

What could complicate the re-election of Jaroslav Baška?

That is a very speculative question. From today's point of view, the current chairman of the TSK appears as the leader of the election. But the election remains for the whole year ahead. At present, not all candidates nor political coalition parties who are definitely coming to the elections are known. Nor are we familiar with election issues that can resonate. Our survey, however, represents a certain starting line for candidates' support. Whether and how the election will take place is the issue of the coming months.

How is it now possible to increase the confidence in surveys? In the recent past years, we have seen that pre-election surveys may be inaccurate - for example, the 2016 parliamentary elections and the unexpectedly high percentage gain of ĽS-NS or the US victory of Donald Trump.

It is not a question of polls themselves, but rather of interpreting them. Even with the examples you mentioned, the polls were not actually off. In the case of elections to the National Council in 2016, surveys that were made about three weeks before the elections indicated a tendency for the growth of LS-NS support and We are a family. Similarly, during the US presidential election, the polls were more about development in favor of Donald Trump. The surveys, more than just the numbers themselves, are about tracking the development of candidates' support. A very important factor is how polls are interpreted by the media that actually failed in the US election, which is confirmed by the co-operation of some journalists with the Democratic Party candidate's staff.

To what extent do you think the results of public opinion polls affect the final choice of the citizen? Don`t research agencies have the power to manipulate the voters fairly easily?

In our legal environment, this connection is presupposed in the legislation in the so-called electoral code, which was adopted by the National Council two years ago. Under this law, research results must not be published two weeks before the election. The impact of public opinion polls on voter decision-making can not be ruled out but can not be precisely concretized. It is true that some voters are concerned about the so-called vote loss, which theoretically increases support for larger and more stable subjects. However, the decision-making of voters to participate in elections and the election of a candidate or political party is a more complex socio-psychological process, which may involve multiple circumstances, which limits the clear determination of the impact of the polls on the outcome of elections.

Medals for the Male Student and the Female Student of the Academic Year 2015/2016



Since the academic year 2016/2017, the Department of Political Science started to honor male and female students for their special contribution to the study of Political Science. For the academic year 2015/2016, Katarína Balážová (second year in bachelor's degree) and Richard Klimáček (second year in the master degree) became Male and Female Students of the year. The award will always be awarded for the previous academic year as a appreciation for the exceptional effort spent in the study. The first ever medal transfer to the students of the year took place at the Student Center on October 21, 2016. We both thank the students and wish many successes to further study.



Interview for MY - Trenčianske noviny with Martin Vavruš

Martin Vavruš (24) is a student of political science, who does more than listening to lectures. He spends his spare time differently from others - he works on surveys and research, which he later uses in his student papers as well as at scientific conferences. 18 months before the county elections, the student came up with a research result that would not be bad even for a research agency.


Mr. Vavruš, can you introduce yourself to our readers?

I am studying at the Department of Political Science of the Trenčín University of Alexander Dubček in Trenčín and my research activities focus on a number of areas. From the human rights agenda, through political parties, social policy to public opinion research.


Why did you choose to pursue political science? Does the society not view it as a branch that produces a large number of graduates with difficulty in applying in the labor market?

Graduates themselves do not have a problem applying in the labor market. Their credit greatly increases the fact that political science as a branch has interdisciplinary character, which for the student is a burden because it has to acquire knowledge from several disciplines (sociology, demography, marketing, social policy, international relations, rhetoric), but for the graduate it adds value, as it adds it to competitiveness. It is up to the graduate to find out what area to focus on. It is important that he devotes himself to his department in greater extent than he inevitably needs to successfully complete his studies at college.


You also engage in research, what was your last research about?

It was a survey of the electoral behavior of citizens of Trenčiansky samosprávny kraj, focusing on their current electoral preferences.

The question about participation was as follows: "Imagine that the election of the Chairman of the Trenčín VÚC and the deputies of the regional council will be held this Saturday. How likely would you be to attend them? "It would definitely be attended by 12.6% and another 23.5% of the respondents would be involved.

Another question related to the support of individual potential candidates: "Who would you personally support in electing the TSK Chairman, or who would you like to bid for this job in the fall of 2017? You can say any name." 37.3% of the respondents mentioned the name of the current
Chairman Jaroslav Baška. The second one, in line with the share of 12.9%, was Renata Kaščáková and the third was the current Mayor of Trenčín Richard Rybníček with 10.1%. With 7.8%, the deputy of the National Council of the Slovak Republic and the Mayor of Prievidza Katarína Macháčková followed. 5.9% of the respondents said another parliamentarian Martin Fedor and 4.1% said Jaroslav Ridoška, ​​who is also a deputy of the Parliament. Martin Žáčik finished with 3,2%, Jozef Hrdlička with 2,7% and the current candidate in the last place is Peter Palko with a gain of 1,8%. Support for other potential candidates did not reach one percentage point.


How many people have you addressed?

This is an exclusive survey carried out on a sample of 600 respondents. These were randomly selected based on a number of criteria. 70% of the data was collected through personal queries. Which means that anonymous paper questionnaire was filled out by people addressed. 30% of the data obtained comes from an electronic questionnaire survey completed by the respondents themselves and again anonymously. Data collection took place from 2 to 22 April 2016.


What are the main conclusions of your survey results?

Electoral participation rates in the regional elections have been repeatedly low and the forthcoming elections should not be an exception in this respect.
The second finding is that the level of fragmentation of the centre of political spectrum in our region is very high and can lead to the candidacy of several centrist candidates who can weaken each other. Fragmentation of this part of the political spectrum will require compromise across multiple entities if they are interested in standing a relevant candidate. The present-day Chairman Jaroslav Baška dominates.

Military and political situation in Europe and the world. View from Russia

On April 27, 2016, a lecture by an important foreign guest, Grigory Tishchenko, who is currently a Deputy Director of the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies, took place at the Department of Political Science. In his lecture and subsequent discussion with the students, he presented the Russian Federation's view of the current political and military situation in Europe, touching on other topical issues of international politics. As a Doctor of Economics he worked at the Institute of Economics and International Relations. He is the author of the book "Increasing the Economic Efficiency of Military Construction in the United States", "Creating Missile Defense Systems Abroad and Russia's Security" and more than 150 scientific papers. Dr. Tishchenko was accompanied by the third secretary of the Embassy of the Russian Federation in the Slovak Republic Dmitri Vashchenko.

Meeting of the representative of the Department of Political Science TnUAD with His Excellency Andrew Garth



On March 1, 2016, the Department of Political Science at Trenčín University of Alexander Dubček received great honor in Trenčín in the form of a meeting between the Deputy of the Department for Development and Strategy PhDr. Miroslav Řádek, PhD. and His Excellency Andrew Garth, Ambassador of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to Slovakia. The 90-minute interview included the current socio-political situation in Slovakia and, in particular, the city and region of Trenčín. The Ambassador answered questions about the upcoming referendum about the United Kingdom's membership in the European Union. His Excellency was also interested in the work of our University - the number of students and the work recruitment of graduates from the Department and the University, and for the future did not exclude the possibility of his personal visit. 



The culmination of the discussion season with Mikuláš Dzurinda



On December 8, 2015 The Department of Political Science at the Trenčín University of Alexander Dubček in Trenčín organized the last discussion of the winter semester of the academic year 2015/2016. The final guest was the former Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Slovak Republic Mikuláš Dzurinda. Students of all grades asked him  questions dominated by foreign policy - the situation in Ukraine, Russia's rise in power, security issues in Syria and Iraq, the assessment of the foreign policy of the current US administration. He also responded to questions about the current and former domestic politics of Slovakia. The record from the discussion is available at the youtube feed of our Department.



We "had words" with Richard Sulík

On the first day of December students of the Department of Political Science of the Trenčín University of Alexander Dubček in Trenčín debated with a Member of the European Parliament and chairman of the party Freedom and Solidarity Richard Sulík. In a discussion moderated by the second-year student Scarlett Hlobeňová, students were mainly interested in the current migration problems within the European Union. With extraordinary attention, students watched Richard Sulik's reaction to the interpretation of the fall of the government in 2011 by his former party colleague Daniel Krajcer from the video of the Department. A record of the discussion with SaS chairman is available on the YouTube channel of the Department of Political Science.

Ľuboš Blaha:"I got to marxism during the rebellion in youth"

The deputy of the National Council of the Slovak Republic and a member of the Institute of Political Science of the Slovak Academy of Sciences, Ľuboš Blaha, explained to the political science students in Trenčín his way to Marxist ideology and how he evaluates the SMER - Social Democracy party at the end of the electoral period. Apart from the range of domestic policy issues, he also responded to the projected development of European integration and conflict resolution options in Syria. Ľuboš Blaha also said why he does not interfere as an atheist with the choice of only Christian families when receiving refugees from Syria in Slovakia.

Daniel Krajcer: "I will tell you the truth about the fall of Radičová government"

On 22 October 2015 - another top politician - Daniel Krajcer discussed with students of the Department of Political Science. Former significant member of the Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) party chiefly spoke about the reasons for entering politics, but also about his own political disappointments, such as the fall of the government of Iveta Radičová (October 2011) and others (the departure of part of the Liberals from the SaS, joining the NOVA movement). He clarified the attitudes of his current political party SKOK! to the financing of the church (petition for separation of the state from the church) and political parties as well as immigrants and the European Union. In his responses, he also outlined the possibilities for development after the elections to the National Council of the Slovak Republic in March 2016. The discussion, which was moderated by Petra Anetová, student of the 5th year, can be seen at the youtube channels of the Department of Political Science.

Discussion with Andrej Danko, President of the Slovak National Party

The Department of Political Science of the Trenčín University of Alexander Dubček in Trenčín was for the first time visited by the Chairman of the Slovak National Party (SNS) Andrej Danko. In the discussion with the students, he talked about internal changes in the SNS ranks and his current programmatic focus, but also about his own motivation to enter active policy. In particular, students were interested in solving the current security situation and problems with mass immigration. Chairman of the Slovak National Party characterized the differences between the party in the past and its current composition. In addition to stressing the defense capabilities of Slovakia, which is currently at an extremely low level, according to Andrej Danko, among the top political priorities of the SNS program is the return of some strategic enterprises to the hands of the state.

Diskusia s Radoslavom Procházkom

31. marca 2015 študenti Katedry politológie Trenčianskej univerzity Alexandra Dubčeka v Trenčíne diskutovali s bývalým poslancom NR SR a kandidátom na prezidenta SR 2014 Radoslavom Procházkom na tému Slovensko v EÚ. R. Procházka v reakcii na otázky študentov vyslovil odvážny súkromný predpoklad o vystúpení Grécka z Európskej menovej únie už v priebehu roka 2015. Pre Slovensko má zostať prioritou byť plnohodnotným členom Euróspkej únie, pretože Slovensku prináša viac výhod ako nevýhod. V časti diskusie o konflikte na Ukrajine vyjadril Radoslav Procházka presvedčenie o väčšom diele zodpovednosti Ruskej federácie. Na záver sa študenti dotkli aj vnútropolitickej situácie. Študentov zaujímali najmä politické strany s ktorými by potenciálne R. Procházka chcel spolupracovať na vládnej úrovni.

The students of the Department of Political Science took part in a panel discussion in the National Council of the SR

On Tuesday, November 11, 2014, students of the Department of Political Science of the Trencín University of Alexander Dubček in Trenčín attended a national panel discussion on the subject of the Velvet Revolution. The discussion took place at the premises of the National Council of the Slovak Republic and continued with the official banquet at Bratislava Castle. Students were given the opportunity to discuss topics and developments in November 1989 with participants in the revolution. In the premises of the National Council of the Slovak Republic, the presentation of political parties was also prepared for the students. After a panel discussion, the students moved to the Bratislava Castle premises, where the President of the Slovak Republic Andrej Kiska and Prime Minister Robert Fico welcomed them. Throughout the day, they had the opportunity to discuss various issues with public and political personalities.



What next in Ukraine?

On November 4, 2014, a further discussion took place at the Department of Political Science of the Trenčín University of Alexander Dubček in Trenčín, with a representative of the Institute for Public Affairs (IVO) Grigorij Mesežnikov, who spent several months in Ukraine. In view of the highly actual and polarizing political theme, G. Mesežnikov led an open debate, part of which was a critical contradiction among the students of Political Science and the European and Global Studies. G. Mesežnikov in the discussion declined the assessment of the crisis in Ukraine as the game of the superpowers by US and Russia, and the discussion with the students provoked his assessment of the situation as a result of Russia's unilateral intervention in the east of Ukraine. The record of the discussion can be found on the YouTube channel of the Department of Political Science TnUAD. The Institute for Public Affairs (IVO) is an independent, non-governmental, non-profit, multidisciplinary organization set up to promote the values  ​​of open society and democratic political culture in public policy and social decision-making. The founders were Martin Bútora, Zora Bútorová, František Šebej, Grigorij Mesežnikov, Péter Hunčík, Oľga Gyárfášová, Vladimír Krivý and Ivan Mikloš.