Institutionalization of Slovak Political Parties and Charismatic Leaders


The paper looks at the issue of importance of charismatic leaders with respect to political parties in Slovakia. The argumentation draws on classical theories, especially that of Angelo Panebianco. The paper asserts that majority of significant Slovak parties, i.e. Movement for a Democratic Slovakia, Christian Democratic Movement and some others, owe their existence above all or solely to their party leaders. In other words, the parties remained significant as long as they relied on their leader. While in some parties in the course of their development, there was successful depersonalization of the leader’s charisma carried out and the parties continued to exert significant influence, there were some other formations that ceased to exist after they lost their leader. This may serve as a proof of the small degree of institutionalization of the Slovak party system. At the same time, it is important to add that another two new formations, which were successful in the last parliamentary elections, i.e. Direction and the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union, were dependent on the charisma of their leaders. The latter said, we may not expect that the Slovak party system will get consolidated in a significant manner in near future.

Klíčová slova:
party system in Slovakia; leaders; charisma;

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