GLOBSEC Trends 2022: Slovakia
Throughout the many years of GLOBSEC Trends polling, Slovakia has particularly stood out as a country of paradoxes. Its population, on the one hand, has espoused robust pro-Western sentiment, with around 60-70% expressing support for remaining in the EU and NATO. Yet Slovak society also continued to display strongly pro-Russian attitudes too - around 50% viewed Russia as a strategic partner and perceived Putin favourably until 2021. These perceptions coincided with strong buy-in to conspiracy theories and manipulative narratives.
Against the backdrop of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the past year has witnessed a considerable shift in attitudes in the country. Increasing segments of the population now recognise that membership in Western structures guarantees the society’s safety and relative prosperity and considers Russia to be a threat. The popularity of Putin declined by 100% between 2021 and 2022. At the same time though, certain long-nurtured fears and trends have remained embedded in the country. Slovakia ranks worst in the region as it pertains to fearing other groups – people are apprehensive that migrants or Western societies, for example, may threaten their identity and values. The belief in manipulative narratives has remained intact too and still resonates with approximately half the population.
This brief report scrutinises key trends shaping Slovak society this year. It examines the socio-demographic groups driving the growth in support for the West, especially NATO, and identifies where the above-mentioned fears still resonate most.
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