Case Studies – Introduction

The following analysis covers three case studies relevant for the time period of the years 2005 – 2013 in the CEE region, namely the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia. The case studies for each country cover the most relevant topics of political and public discussion as well. Although most of selected cases focus on single cases studies, the mutual linkage cannot be omitted. The initial intention was to strictly distinguish the case studies the German and Slovak cases are much interconnected.

The Slovak political discussion among others in case of national identity is dominated by the Robert Fico’s Smer. Therefore, the whole discussion is framed by this one strong personality. The opposition parliament parties are not able to constitute a united opposition in terms of day-to-day politics; and surprisingly, not in Fico’s national framing. In addition to that, all issues are much interconnected; therefore, the strict distinction would not be able to enhance the complex topic of national identity.

The case of Germany is the opposite case of national identity framing. The public as well as political discussion is much more focused public mainstream versus extremism environment around NPD. However the NPD cannot be omitted out of analysis, the parliament parties national identity perceptions have been convergent in past decade a lot. As the election manifestos analysis shows, to distinguish dominating cleavage is difficult, even if the day-to-day politics can be perceived by differently, e.g. by media. Therefore, similarly to Slovak parties, the individual case studies cover the whole political spectrum instead the two individual parties’ positions.

The Czech and Polish case studies follow the clear issues’ distinction. Generally speaking, even if both political environments are very complex, the case studies show that in both countries the picture is more differentiated. Contrary to Slovakia and Germany, it is easier to divide to political spectrum according to policies the parties support, reject, or have to react on.

Data used for analysis

The main aim how to analyse the individual case studies was explore the party language used for spreading party policy. In each case, we have focused on party’s argumentation as well as on language used during spreading the policy.

The focus is on the party language, if the party:

  • Sets an agenda for public discourse
  • Create a new policy issue for instance due to election campaign
  • Has to defend against political opponent
  • Deliberately develops the national identity related issues as a part of party strategy

The main data sources are: publicly given speeches, official party materials, blogs of party members, Facebook communications channels. The individual case studies have been set as follows:

The Czech Republic

Sudety area: the role of regions with German majority before World War II and their resettlement after WWII.

Roma minority: repeatedly relevant issue of the Czech politics; the Anti-Roma riots took place across the Czech Republic before the 2013 election campaign.

Common currency Euro: due to the ongoing Eurozone crisis, the relevancy of this issue has decreased; same as the relevancy of the EU related issues

Poland

Slovakia

Slovaks as the constituting nation and national minorities
Historical myths and traditions in nation building initiatives
Slovakia in the international community

Hungary

Diaspora Politics: Fidesz and Hungarian Socialist Party
Roma and Sinti Issue: Jobbik and LMP-Politics Can Be Different
Anti-European Sentiments: Hungarian Socialist Party and Jobbik

Germany

Strengthening European integration and European integration process;
Integration of immigrants to the German society and
Fight against racism, anti-Semitism and xenophobia.