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The Curious Case of Slovakia

Regime Preferences Thirty Years after the Velvet Revolution

Zuzana Reptova Novakova

Abstract

A singular focus on the formal institutional reforms and economic variables misses the mark when it comes to explaining the decreasing support for liberal democracy in Central and Eastern Europe. This article suggests that over thirty years after the beginning of the “transition to democracy,” a closer look at the conditional factors of social quality can shed a different light on the transformation of societal realities. In particular, it pays attention to the extent to which people are able to participate in social and societal relationships under conditions that enhance their well-being, capacity, and individual potential. Slovakia is chosen as a case study, as it is both representative of some of the wider malaises characteristic of the younger European democracies and as it is a rather interesting example of liberal democracy within the region.

Open access

Tadashi Hirai

Abstract

Participation is essential in societal development. Nevertheless, it still tends to be implemented unsystematically, and to be interpreted loosely without attention to context. For effective implementation, trust needs to be taken more seriously. The nexus between participation and trust plays a key role in societal processes toward democracy. Highlighting it is particularly relevant to the political, economic, cultural, and environmental transition in Ukraine, where participation is encouraged while the level of trust is fragile, resulting in multiple adverse effects on everyday life. Accordingly, this article investigates the significance of effectively implementing participation and the impact of trust upon its quality, depicting Ukraine as a counterexample. While participation is vital, it needs to be managed with care, according to the level of trust in society.

Open access

Humanosphere Potentiality Index

Appraising Existing Indicators from a Long-term Perspective

Takahiro Sato, Mario Ivan López, Taizo Wada, Shiro Sato, Makoto Nishi, and Kazuo Watanabe

Abstract

This research presents the Humanosphere Potentiality Index (HPI), developed to address current global potentiality from a long-term perspective. The HPI presents a different way to envision the current condition of the world, one that is compatible with a strong sustainability paradigm approach and demonstrates the significance of tropical countries for global sustainability. A comparison between HPI and the Human Development Index (HDI) reveals a dominant developmental paradigm that justifies the HDI perspective, and comparisons between HPI and four popular environmental indicators provide insights into how human society should engage with the natural environment. This research argues that the worldview from HPI presents a perspective that asks us to pay more attention not only to development but also to global potentiality from a long-term perspective.