The Construction of Slovakia as a Donor and Its Power Effects

  • Tomáš Profant
Keywords: Slovak development cooperation, discourse, Michel Foucault, transformation, identity, power


The aim of this article is to study the Slovak “development” cooperation’s power effects and the identities based on the related discourses. In the first part I focus on Slovakia’s identity as a “developed” country. Here I look at the need of Slovakia to become a donor that predated the recreation of the Slovak development apparatus. The new apparatus secured for Slovakia the identity of a “developed” country and reacted to the decline of financial support for the Slovak NGO sector after 1998. This part also points to the way the government and suggestive polls construct Slovakia’s identity as a donor and the identity of Slovaks as a people who are willing to help. The next part focuses on the construction of Slovakia as a “new” donor with a specific transition experience. First it shows the power asymmetry casued by the discourse of “old” and “new” donors, and then it shows how the transition experience discourse takes part in legitimizing the current hegemonic ideology and how it serves to hierarchize Slovaks in relation to “old” donors. The last part analyzes the power effects of the representation of Slovakia as an egoistic, altruistic and effective donor.

Author Biography

Tomáš Profant

Born in 1983, he studied International Relations and European Studies at the Faculty of Social Studies, Masaryk University. He currently works as a researcher at the Institute of International Relations in Prague and is a doctoral candidate at the University of Kassel. In his research he deals with post-colonial theories and international political economy with a focus on the EU.