Two interpretation lines are often applied in explanation of rising radicalism and extremism in the transition countries: ethno-politics and social deprivation, in other words the revival of nationalism/obsession with identity and uneven impact of economic reforms during transition period to different groups of the population. Both interpretation schemes are fully legitimate, however, they do not seem to be sufficient to create a more comprehensive explanatory framework.
The working hypothesis of the project is a consideration that no less important factor of the growth of right-wing radicalism in Slovakia is – besides ethno-politics and social deprivation – an illiberal regression in the execution of power by mainstream political forces: tyranny of the majority, efforts to limit the fair electoral competition, marginalization of the opposition (especially of liberal-democratic orientation), selective justice, attacks on independent media and civil society, state capture, nourishing the illiberal public discourse on democracy, freedom, human rights, universal values, migration, the future of the EU, etc. The illiberal practice in the governance which has constantly worsened the quality of democracy and reduced the effectiveness of the functioning the democratic institutions in the state, did not harm the extremists (neither was oriented against them), on the contrary – it prepared a breeding soil for them in terms of their voter empowerment, created a more favorable atmosphere for their presentation of abilities to „effectively“ solve the problems in an illiberal way. Many voters with authoritarian inclinations in political culture see the right-wing extremists much more authentic representatives of the illiberal stream – principled, resolute, and non-corrupt.