Recruits in Slovenskí Branci: Reasons for joining

Juan Antonio Luque-Peregrín


The present paper is part of a larger research project that looked at the reality of the paramilitary phenomenon in Eastern Europe (Slovakia), in particular at the influence of the so-called "refugee crisis" on the creation and maintenance of paramilitary groups in the country. This paper introduces the Slovenskí Branci (Slovak Recruits) unit as a case study of the motivations of recruits to engage in paramilitary activities. The recruits' reasons, as well as the attraction of violence and the perceived need for social defense will be studied here. With respect to methodology, the analysis is conducted from the point of view of cultural criminology. The research question for this paper is "Why have recruits in Slovenskí Branci decided to join the paramilitary group?". Overall, the reasons given by the recruits for participating in paramilitary activities can be divided into the need to defend the homeland against perceived invaders, based on nationalism and ontological insecurity, and the attractiveness of militarism for the people involved in the group.


paramilitarism; nation; ontological insecurity; recruit; vigilantism

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International e-Journal of Criminal Science: 1988-7949

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