>Young academics to back Mečiar?
Even in its current much diminished, more moderate form Vladimír Mečiar’s populist-nationalist Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS) is not known for its intellectual qualities, so it is interesting to see that it has just founded a Young Politcal Scientists Club for sympathetic adademics to advise and feed in ideas. The rationale, reports Sme, is to counter the heavy bias in Slovak political science community towards liberal, pro-market parties. This I suspect does exist, although ,that said, Slovak political science is of a generally rather high quality with less obvious and uncomfortable partisianship creeping in than (for example) in the neighbouring Czech Republic. It will be interesting to see whether this initiative develops and contributes to the modernization of HZDS, whose vagueness plus loyal base of voters remembering the bad/good old days when VM dominated Slovak politics may be an asset for future growth. In Croatia the broadly similar Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), for example, took Ireland’s Fianna Fáil as its model of thoroughly modern small country nationalism. HDZ founder Franjo Tudjman did, however, have the decency to die at a poltically opportune moment…