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Mitigating the Radicalization of Slovak Society

  •  Slovacia
  •  Data începerii: January 2014
  •  End Date: January 2015

In 2014-2015, CENAA launched a pilot project focused on research of extremism and radicalism in security forces in the Slovak Republic as well as their potential interconnections to right-wing extremist groups. Due to the long-term failure to address burning issues in the society, including alarmingly increasing tendency of tensions between majority population and minority groups, the increase of sympathies towards extremist groups among population could also be accompanied by increase in active participation, which is dangerous should security forces members be concerned, since they are one of declared sources of military and combat know-how for extremist paramilitary groups. In relation to growing dissatisfaction with socio-economic situation as well as increasing tensions in majority-minority relations, this threat has rising potential and can possibly result in further violent actions. On top of that, private security services account for the main source of employment of former police officers. Retired police officers have a complicated situation, because they are interesting for organized crime. Former police officers (similarly to soldiers) are educated and trained in a specific area and what’s more, they have many informal contacts for after their retirement. Such informal contacts and fellowship, in many cases accounts for why information leaks from the police to the organized crime.
Main Topics:
• Threats and issues regarding the involvement of members of military and police forces in the activities of extremist movements, especially paramilitary groups
• Fear and intercultural tensions with relation to the radicalization of members of security forces
• Involvement of extremism, nationalism and other security issues in European Parliament and municipal elections campaigns in 2014
• Preventing radicalism in the political mainstream through focus on regions and young party members


In relation to growing dissatisfaction with socio-economic situation as well as increasing tensions in majority-minority relations, the threat of former security forces member getting involved in radicalism has rising potential and can possibly result in further violent actions. The aim was therefore to address this situation on two levels. First one lies on the individual level of current and former members of security forces, while second one lies in encouraging of systematic solutions on the political level.


Several publications were written dealing with the mitigating the radicalization of society, especially former members of army.


This research project can be easily carried out in any country. Similar projects have already been carried out.

Dovezi și evaluări

The main outputs were based on the survey research of extremist and radical tendencies among former Army and Police officers conducted in 2014 – 2015. The research has been evaluated by standard methods and several brochures have been published containing the overall evaluation of the project and its outcomes.

Parteneriate de cooperare

The research project “Mitigating the Radicalization of Slovak Society: Research and Shaping of Counter-Extremist Strategies” was conducted by Centre for European and North Atlantic Affairs (CENAA) in cooperation with the Armed Forces Academy of the Slovak Republic, Criminology-Research Centre and UN Veterans Slovakia. Open Society Foundations supported project.

Descrierea costurilor

Open Society Foundations supported project.


[1] Mitigating the Radicalization of Slovak Society. Accessed August 20,2017
[2] Radicals in Uniforms. Accessed August 20, 2017,
[3] Poto??ák, Adam, Vicenová, Radka (eds.). 2015. Radicals in Uniforms: Case studies of Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Poland and Slovakia. Accessed August 20,2017
[4] ?urfina, Anna, Ne?ej, Elemír. 2015. Radicals in Unifroms: Recommendations for Countering Extremism and Radicalization in Security Forces. Bratislava: CENAA Accessed August 20,2017
[5] ?urfina, Alena, Ne?ej, Elemír. 2015. The Risk of Radicalization in Armed Forces: The View from Inside. Bratislava: CENAA Accessed August 20,2017

Legături utile

Durata estimată Short term
  • National
  • Radicalizare
  • Police and LEAs
  • Local Communities
  • Primary prevention
  • Secondary prevention
  • Research
  • Communication
Punct de intervenție
  • Prevention
  • Reduction
  • Coordination
  • n/a
Relevanța evaluării
  • Relevant
Impactul evaluării
  • Positive impact
Utilitatea evaluării
  • Somewhat effective
Eficiența evaluării
  • Not enough information
Caracterul incluziv al evaluării
  • Inclusive
Sustenabilitatea evaluării
  • Sustainable
Relevanța evaluării calitative

Extremism and radicalism is not a new phenomenon that is confined to the less-developed countries ? it is an occurrence that can be also seen in the developed ones. Nevertheless, no matter where it manifests itself, extremism has a significantly detrimental effect on the society, with an effect that cuts across the strata, with the Slovak Republic being no exception. Thus we can only expect that the extremist and radical tendencies will gain in intensity, which only increases the need to address these manifestations by the experts, but also the respective security apparatus, e.g. the police forces in the respective countries.

The aim of the project was to gain more detailed information – mainly with regards to the present economic situation of retired armed forces members, as well as additional career opportunities after their departure from active service, which would improve the engagement with this category of individuals. This is especially important in light of the fact that their present socio-economic situation, the frustration and problems with job placement could lead to their radicalization and anti-society orientation.

Utilitatea evaluării calitative

The survey carried out among the veterans was possible thanks to cooperation with the association UN –Veteran Slovakia, but the research proved to be problematic, mainly due to low numbers of participants from the ranks of retired police members, as the majority of them had refused to provide answers to the questions.

Eficiența evaluării calitative

Not enough information

Impactul evaluării calitative

Several studies, brochures, papers have been published as outputs containing recommendations resulting from the research project focused on extremism and radicalism in security forces in the Slovak Republic but also several program documents of selected Slovak political parties were analysed focused on the importance the party attributes to foreign and security policy topics (including extremism and radicalism).
The roundtable discussion organized by CENAA sparked an increased interest about the issue of extremism in the armed forces, as well as in veterans of the armed forces vis-à-vis this phenomenon. To document it, we can mention some of the activities, such as the Conference by the Armed Forces Academy in Liptovský Mikuláš, research by the Ministry of Defense’s Personnel Office among professional soldiers, research by Department of Human Resources at the Ministry of Defense, as well as increased interest in the issue from non-governmental organizations of retired soldiers’ (Soldiers’ Association, Veterans Union, UN-Veterans Slovakia).
In 2015 Centre for European and North Atlantic Affairs (CENAA) with the support of Open Society Foundations, organized a workshop entitled “Radicals in Uniform”. The main ambition of this workshop was to present and promote the results of a questionnaire survey, which was carried out by CENAA in collaboration with the partners from the Research-Criminology Centre, the Academy of Armed Forces of the Slovak Republic, and UN Veterans Slovakia over the course of 2014- 2015.
The seminar provided a fertile ground for discussion among 20 specialists, representing the Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, academics, researchers and representatives of military associations from Slovak Republic and Czech Republic.
In 2015, CENAA organized two weekend workshops for young leaders “NO TO EXTREMISM”. The aim of the workshops designed for young people from youth political organizations on order to provide them a platform for the discussion and education in the topic of political extremism and radicalism and related risks for the society.

Sustenabilitatea evaluării calitative

The project itself has ended but the Centre for European and North Atlantic Affairs (CENAA) within the conclusions of the project recommends and plans to
- continue cooperation with Military Academy in Liptovský Mikuláš, Defense Academy in Brno, and associations of former soldiers;
- strengthen cooperation and contacts through regular expert seminars organized in line with Chatham House rules,
- run more qualitative and quantitative research to develop better cooperation between the government authorities (Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs and Family) and the academic and non-profit sector,
- apply research conclusions to the policy-making of the Ministry of Interior as the main coordinating authority for de-radicalization and combating extremism.

Caracterul incluziv al evaluării calitative

The main stakeholder was the Centre for European and North Atlantic Affairs (CENAA) which conducted the research. The survey carried out among the veterans was possible thanks to cooperation with the association UN –Veteran Slovakia. Another valuable partner the Armed Forces Academy of General Milan Rastislav Stefanik organized a conference in February 2014 and it main focus was the new emerging threats as extremism and terrorism in armed forces and their social, technical and ecological causes as well as their identification and management of systems for their solution.