Martin Kovanic

Martin Kovanic
Office for Whistleblower Protection · Analytical Department

Doctor of Philosophy

About

30
Publications
3,873
Reads
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35
Citations
Introduction
My research background is in critical approach towards surveillance and security and transitional justice, where I mostly focused on the way post-authoritarian societies dealt with the legacy of old communist surveillance. Currently, I am working on the issue of whistleblowering, its perception by the state and society in the context of democratic theory.
Additional affiliations
October 2017 - December 2020
Comenius University Bratislava
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Description
  • National project: Politics of Personal Data: Transparency, Accountability and Legitimacy in the Digital Era
December 2016 - April 2018
Strategic Policy Institute (STRATPOL)
Position
  • Researcher
November 2016 - present
Mendel University in Brno
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
Education
September 2012 - August 2016
Comenius University Bratislava
Field of study
  • Political Science
August 2011 - September 2012
Central European University
Field of study
  • Political Science

Publications

Publications (30)
Article
In the digital era, citizens’ daily lives are taking place both in the physical and digital realms. At the same time, even the most mundane activities are increasingly affected by offline as well as online surveillance. The privacy paradigm suggests that there is a difference between the private and public spheres of life, and that with technologic...
Article
Full-text available
After the 9/11 attacks in the US and subsequent attacks in Europe, terrorism has become a global phenomenon and a prominent threat for western democracies in the 21st century. Therefore, some sort of governmental reaction was necessary in order to protect citizens and appease the public demand for more security. This reaction was however often disp...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The coronavirus pandemic is not only a public health crisis, but also a challenge for governance in accordance with the democratic principles such as the rule of law, separation of powers and respect for fundamental rights and freedoms. The organization of mass testing in Slovakia, which happened in several rounds during the second wave of infectio...
Chapter
Slovakia’s democracy has faced intensified challenges from both far-right political actors seeking to gain a parliamentary majority and mainstream political actors engaging in various forms of anti-minority rhetoric. This chapter provides an overview of mainstream measures conventionally associated with Slovak neo-militant democracy, as well as of...
Chapter
The breakdown of the hegemonic order on the Czech political party scene after the economic crisis created conditions for the rise of new political parties, which were not embedded in the traditional left-right struggles. One of these parties was the political party ANO, established and led by one of the richest entrepreneurs, Andrej Babiš. The main...
Book
Full-text available
Naše spoločnosti sú závislé od informácií. Takmer všetky dôležité ekonomické, politické a kultúrne aktivity – či už ide o štátnu, alebo súkromnú sféru – si vyžadujú informácie. Dáta sa stali dôležitou surovinou a neslúžia len konkrétnemu účelu, na ktorý boli vytvorené, ale ďalej sa predávajú, analyzujú a využívajú (Cheney-Lippold 2017). Z nich veľk...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The COVID-19 pandemic is not only public health crisis, but also a social and political crisis, and its management therefore poses a challenge to democratic governance. Crisis management represents a specific challenge for populist actors, who draw their legitimacy from the "will of the people" and strive for high responsiveness, which was under te...
Chapter
This volume offers fresh perspectives on the representation of the recent past in museums of the Second World War and of communism in post-communist Eastern Europe. It does so against the background of recent European-wide debates on history, memory and politics. The contributors from across Europe focus comparatively on a wide variety of case stud...
Chapter
Full-text available
Udalosti Novembra 1989, ktoré viedli k pádu komunistického režimu v Československu, priniesli zásadné zmeny v doterajšom politickom režime vrátane otvorenia cesty k liberálnej demokracii ako aj hospodárskej a sociálnej transformácii. Dedičstvo revolúcie zo 17. novembra 1989 zostáva aj v súčasnosti silným mobilizačným symbolom pre politikov a občian...
Article
Full-text available
Intelligence agencies play a prominent role in the production of knowledge about national security threats and their evaluation. This function is not just a value-neutral technical activity, but a social and political action. The purpose of this article is to explore the ways in which the Slovak Information Service, an intelligence agency responsib...
Article
Full-text available
The Office for Personal Data Protection is a public authority responsible for the protection of personal data in Slovakia. Even though mass surveillance is becoming a much-debated media topic, public discourse has so far paid only limited attention to the institution. The Office gained extensive media coverage when it requested information from the...
Article
Full-text available
After the fall of the communist regime, Slovakia saw the introduction and subsequent rapid growth of camera surveillance, particularly around the turn of the millennium. These developments occurred in a specific political, cultural, and historical context, which affects perceptions of and reactions to surveillance by individual citizens. The post-c...
Article
Full-text available
Discussion about secret police collaboration during the communist regime still remains in the public discourse 30 years after the Velvet Revolution in both the Czech and the Slovak Republics. The case of the current Czech Prime Minister of Slovak origin, An-drej Babiš, has been the most visible instance of the truth-revelation procedures carried ou...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Spread of disinformation and possibilities of its countering represent a prominent challenge for all the democratic states. In Slovakia, this problem entered public discourse around 2014, however mostly as a result of activities of media and civil society. The Slovak Information Service, an intelligence agency responsible the protection from both i...
Article
Full-text available
Telecommunications metadata pose a huge opportunity for digital surveillance of citizens. In the past years, there has been a push for more privacy protection from the European Union. What is the situation of the metadata and the possibility of its use in Slovakia?
Article
Full-text available
The activities of intelligence services and the expansion of their powers have moved to the center of public debates since the terrorist attacks in Europe. Major discussions have been focused on the mechanisms of mass surveillance, which entail the infringement of individual rights. The purpose of this article is to compare how surveillance powers...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Moderné technológie vo forme mestských kamerových systémov sa stali integrálnou súčasťou českých miest. Sú využívané za cieľom znižovania kriminality a sú neustále rozširované aj vďaka podpore vládnych grantov. To sa deje napriek tomu, že empirické testovanie takýchto systémov ukazuje len limitovaný prínos v boji proti kriminalite. Cieľom tohto prí...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Činnost zpravodajských služeb se v období po teroristických útocích v Evropě stala jedním z významných problémů současnosti. Z důvodu implementace proti-teroristické legislativy došlo k posílení funkcí zpravodajských služeb. Diskuze o rozšíření pravomocí zpravodajských služeb probíhaly i v České republice. Cílem tohoto příspěvku je zmapovat, jakým...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Příspěvek zkoumá z hlediska metodologie managementu institucionální etiky míru implementace a efektivity interních a externích etických nástrojů ve struktuře státního zastupitelství ČR (tedy Nejvyšší státní zastupitelství, Vrchní zastupitelství, Krajská zastupitelství a Okresní zastupitelství). Autoři se ve svém výzkumu soustředí na kvalitativní an...
Article
Full-text available
Krajná pravica je v Európe v posledných dekádach na vzostupe. Viaceré strany z tohto spektra predstavujú hrozbu pre fungovanie režimov liberálnej demokracie. Z tohto dôvodu prichádza k rozpúšťaniu politických strán, čo sa už udialo aj v prostredí ponovembrovej Českej Republiky a Slovenskej Republiky. Cieľom tohto príspevku bolo analyzovať režim roz...
Chapter
Full-text available
Demokratizácia inštitúcií, ktorá zahŕňala úpravu súdnej moci, patrila spolu s transformáciou ekonomiky a budovania štátnosti ku kľúčovým výzvam v období zmeny režimov v strednej a východnej Európe po páde ko-munizmu v roku 1989 (Offe 1991, Elster 1993, Kuzio 2001). Špecifikom postkomunistických zmien režimu bola nutnosť simultánneho riešenia via-ce...
Article
Full-text available
This chronicle analyzes the interplay between constitutional rights and freedoms and surveillance in Slovakia. It looks at the drivers that are behind the introduction and expansion of new surveillance mechanisms in Slovakia by analyzing the implementation of the data retention directive and the electronic toll system.
Article
Full-text available
One of the main responsibilities of the Nation’s Memory Institute (NMI) in Slovakia is the analysis and disclosure of secret police collaborators’ files. This practice however creates a tension between two important rights – the individual right to privacy and the collective right to information. On the one hand, the revelation of the names is perc...
Article
Full-text available
The purpose of this article is to identify and explain the dynamics of transitional justice in Slovakia. Furthermore, it focuses on the Nation's Memory Institute and its role in the process of dealing with the past. The dynamics are explained through the existence of constraints - the type of the regime change, the nature of the Communist regime an...

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Projects

Projects (3)
Archived project
Functioning of intelligence services requires framing of their activities within certain limits, which balance individual rights with the right to security. Concentration of their activities on individual threats must meet the characteristics of legitimacy. Focus on threats is not only a neutral analytical activity, it happens in the framework of certain discursive strategies. These constructions have an impact on policy making and threat discourse. The aim of this project is to analyze how the intelligence services' threat constructions developed in the Czech and Slovak Republics and how they were reflected in the public discourse.
Archived project
The aim of this project is to map out how functions and surveillance powers of intelligence services in the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic were developing in the context of the fight against terrorism, and wider political and societal context of these changes. An important dimension is also the role of the European Union as an important source of legislation and jurisprudence in this area.
Archived project
The project aims to develop a better understanding of constraining and enabling effects of surveillance and to contribute to theoretical debates on surveillance in the post-communist context. Additionally, the project will empirical insights useful for the formulation of public policies and awareness campaigns.