Security Environments in the Visegrad Group Countries

Syllabus for the subject in English, Slovak. Please visit distance learning module available here.
Aim of the subject:
Course will provide students with basic knowledge on security policy of the state. Students will be able to analyse internal and international status of V4 countries (Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia) and analyse their security environment. Lectures will introduce the transformation of security policy, security system and security strategies of the V4 countries to the students. Course will provide students with knowledge on security activities in the area of V4 group.
Structure of the subject:
1. During lectures presentations will be distributed according to the course syllabus, which is also available in the form of recommended literature on the subject.
2. During the lectures, the analysis of selected texts, the self-study on the given subject and the discussion in the form of questions and answers after the reading of obligatory literature for the seminars will take place.
Conditions for passing the course and gaining credits:
Compulsory reading of the texts provided, case study and class discussion: 20%
Paper work - Essay: 20%
Mid-Term Test: 10%
Final Exam: 50%

100% – 94% = A;
93% – 87% = B;
86% – 78% = C;
77% – 73% = D;
72%-65% = E;
less than 65% = Fx;
more than two absences on seminars = Fx;
plagiarism = Fx;
enrolled students for subjects who do not sign up for any of the scheduled dates in the exam period = Fx.
Requirements for students with individual study plan:
1. Submitting a paper (the topic you choose must correspond to the content of the course and it must be approved by the teacher).
2. Oral exam (questions will be based on lectures and literature designed to study for seminars).
3. The paper has to be submitted at least one week before the exam.
4. The date of exam will be settled individually by e-mail, which should include also your paper.
Contents of the subject: (presentation and book available here)
1. Introductory remarks
2. Definition of the theory of security policy of the state
3. Historical development of the Central Europe region
4. Transformational process of security environmnet of V4 countries
5. Definition of internal and international security environment of V4 countries
6. Importance of Visegrad Group Cooperation
7. Mid-Term Test
8. Cooperation among V4 countries in the area of security
9. Security problems in region and security agenda of V4 countries
10. Future of security cooperation of V4 countries
11. Comparison of the Security Strategies of the V4 Countries
12. Comparison of the Security Policies of the V4 Countries
13. Closing remarks and Final Test
Contents of the seminars:
1. 04.02. Cancelled.
2. 11.02. Introductory remarks and ice breaking game - It is also recommended to attend the conference Security forum 2020 (Security Forum 2020) that takes place on February 12, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m
3. 18.02. Caudle, S., L.: National Security Strategies Security from What, for Whom, and by What Means (available here) - Q&A
4. 25.02. Trace and compare the evolution of democracy in the V4 countries after the World War II. - your finding will be presented during class disscusion
5. 03.03. Search for information on how the events in Hungary in 1956, Czechoslovakia in 1968 and Poland in 1980s were interpreted by the following actors: the West, Moscow and the state - students will be split into groups, your finding will be presented in short oral presentation (more instructions available here)
6. 10.03. Find another similar regional security groups in Europe (instructions will be given one week before) - your finding will be presented during class disscusion
7. 17.03. Mid-Term test
8. 24.03. Students will search for information on a given topic using exclusively oposite type of sources: conspiratory websites vs. official standart news agencies (BBC/CNN...) - during the class disscusion you will present, compare and comment on the findings (more instructions available here)
9. 31.03. In 2019/2020, the Czech Republic will be presiding over the Visegrad Group. Analyse the program of the Czech V4 presidency - your finding will be presented during class disscusion (more instructions available here)
10. 07.04. Go through the currently valid security strategies of the V4 states and prepare comparative tables where you will compare the threats defined in the four strategie - your finding will be presented in form of one common ppt presentation (more instructions available here)
11. 14.04. Easter break - without instruction
12. 22.04. Case study prepare the description of cybersecurity activities of V4 countries - your finding will be presented during class disscusion (more instructions available here)
13. 28.04. Final test
Requirements for the paper:
Each paper has to account for 2000-2200 words (references and literature included). The text should be divided into an introduction, main body and conclusion. Under the title on the front-page, please include your e-mail address. The paper accounts for 30% of the overall assessment – 5% for the fulfilment of formal requirements and 25% for the content. In case of plagiarism, the course will be assessed by Fx.
Formal requirements:
SMERNICA č. 12/2011 o záverečných, rigoróznych a habilitačných prácach na Univerzite Mateja Bela v Banskej Bystrici (s. 21-23). For the paper, please use Times New Roman, 12 pt, line spacing 1,5, citation in text: (the reference to any bibliography (quotations, paraphrases) is placed in that part of the text where author is relating to the used bibliography. The quotation (paraphrases) serves as a connection of the quoted/paraphrased information with the particular used source. This record is a part of the list of bibliography placed at the end of the article. The commentaries' placed in a footnote can be also used in the text.
The quoted or paraphrased lines are due to be placed within the text followed; in a case of quotation with (Katuscak, 1998, pp. 3) or in a case of paraphrases with (Katuscak, 1998); The alphabetically ordered list of the used literature should be stated at the end of the text under a title Bibliography. The list is alphabetised according to the family names of authors without a numbering of the listings.), more information
Submission of the paper:
The paper needs to be sent in electronic version by e-mail to on 20 April 2020, at the latest. The subject of the email should be as follows: PRACA-SEVGS-SURNAMENAME. Your paper should be in the word format and entitled as follows: Surname_Name – Short version of the title. Under the title on the front page of your paper, please indicate your e-mail address.
Topics of the paper:
You can choose your own topic – it must correspond to the content of the course and be approved by the teacher.
Recommended Reading:
Ušiak, J.: Security and strategic culture of the Visegrad Group countries. Univerzita Mateja Bela, Banská Bystrica, 2013
Dyduch, J., Jakubowski, S., Kosír I., Ušiak, J.: Poland and Slovakia. Bilateral Relations in the Multilateral Context (2004-2016). Essays on Politics and Economics. Stuttgart: ibidem-Verlag, 2017.
Valášek, T., Gyarfášová, O.: Easternization of Europe's Security Policy. Institute for Public Affairs 2004
Cottey, A.: East-Central Europe after the Cold War. Macmillan Press, London, 1995
Security Strategy of the Slovak Republic 2002, 2005, 2017
The National Security Strategy of the Republic of Poland 2003, 2007, 2014
Security Strategy of the Czech Republic 2003, 2011, 2015
The National Security Strategy of the Republic of Hungary 2004, 2012
Duleba Alexander: Slovak Foreign Policy after EU and NATO Accession
Kořán Michal: V4 Cooperation from the Point of View of the Czech Republic
Gniazdowski Mateusz: Visegrad Cooperation in Polish Foreign Policy: as it Stands and the Outlook for the Future
Magyarics Tamás: From Semi-Periphery to Semi-Periphery – Hungary's Foreign Relations under the Socialist-Free Democrat Governments (2002-2010)