Country Specifics of a Universal Right?

Freedom of political speech in the Slovak Republic


  • Max Steuer Comenius University in Bratislava



European Court of Human Rights, freedom of speech, judicial decision-making, political discourse, philosophical and theoretical justifications, Slovak Republic, theories of freedom of speech


This paper tests the assumption of a universal right to freedom of speech in the context of the Slovak Republic, a Central European country still facing the legacies of suppression of freedom of speech during the communist regime, in order to find out whether the conception of free speech understood as European is used in Slovakia as well. Firstly, it examines key theories of freedom of speech both in the Anglo-American and Central European scholarship with emphasis on the reflections of ‘Western’ ideas in post-communist philosophical, legal and political thought. Secondly, it utilizes simple statistical methods to analyse the outcomes of judicial decision-making concerning issues of political speech in Slovakia according to the incidence of theoretical justifications of freedom of speech. The results indicate that the Slovak (and as some indicators show, also Central European) approach to freedom of speech differs from the one viewed as ‘European’ in some respects.

Author Biography

Max Steuer, Comenius University in Bratislava

Max Steuer, 21, is currently an MA candidate in International Relations and European Studies at Central European University in Budapest. In 2014, he obtained an undergraduate degree in Political Science from Comenius University in Bratislava with a thesis titled ‘Freedom of Speech Under Pressure? Analysing Judicial Decisions and Political Discourse in Slovakia’. Apart from human, especially political rights, he is interested in the political systems of the Slovak and Czech Republics with an emphasis of the role of constitutional courts in these countries, and in the concepts of democracy, legitimacy, constitutionalism and rule of law in context of European integration.




How to Cite

Steuer, M. (2014). Country Specifics of a Universal Right? Freedom of political speech in the Slovak Republic. Politikon: The IAPSS Journal of Political Science, 25, 56–79.