Greenwood Paper Special Issue

One Past, Two Futures?: The NATO Enlargement Debate in the Czech Republic and Slovakia

Stefan Sarvas
65 pages, ISBN 90-76301-04-2 (1 1999)

Though the Czech Republic is now a full NATO member Slovakia has been left in the cold, largely because of the contempt for democratic standards shown by former leader Meciar before his electoral defeat in 1998. Stefan Sarvas offers a profound analysis of the debate on NATO membership through the mid-1990s in both states. Among other things he conducts a thorough post-mortem on the 1997 Slovak referendum, which the devious Meciar effectively sabotaged; and he explains how the Czech leadership eventually secured popular support for a policy choice about which public attitudes were initially fairly lukewarm. Civil-military relations and their reflections in the media in both countries are described before the author analyses the debate on NATO membership in the media and its impact on civil-military relations. Sarvas concludes with fifteen lessons to be drawn. These clearly show the similarities and the differences between the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

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