The Shattuck Center participates in the Human Forum

January 18, 2024

CEU’s Shattuck Center participated in the Human Forum in Banská Bystrica, Slovakia, on November 28th – 30th, 2023. Initiated by the civic platform NOT IN OUR TOWN in Banská Bystrica, the Human Forum attracts hundreds of civil society organizations, activists, politicians, businesspeople, and academics who each year come together to discuss topics of Human Rights, participation, mobilization, democracy, and civil society in Slovakia, Central and Eastern Europe, and beyond. 2023, under the title of "Strengthening Democracy and Civil Society as the Prevention of the Growth of Extremism", the Human Forum presented its tenth edition.

On the panel preceding the speech by the President of the Slovak Republic, Zuzana Čaputová, the Shattuck Center’s Director, Martin Kahanec, participated in a discussion on "Opportunities for cooperation between Slovakia and post-war Ukraine: Ukraine's needs in the field of development of democracy and respect for human rights". Together with OSCE Deputy Director Tea Jaliashvili and Alexander Duleba, Senior Fellow at the Research Centre of the Slovak Foreign Policy Association, and moderated by Dagmar Kusá from the Bratislava International School of Liberal Arts and Vice President of the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Slovakia, Martin Kahanec discussed the potential for cooperation in the development of civil society and democracy in Ukraine, both during the war and in the post-war period. Slovakia and the European Union need a neighboring Ukraine with a stable democracy and strong civil society actors in order to rebuild a prosperous Ukrainian post-war society. A democratic, resourceful, and active civic society and business sector are key partners in this undertaking. Furthermore, Shattuck Center’s Felix Butzlaff held a PHD workshop on the use of qualitative methodologies such as focus groups, within the research on democracy, participation, and social movements.