The Gorilla Case in Slovakia

Partial state capture by a single oligarchic group: The Gorilla Case in Slovakia


Abstract: The article discusses the Gorilla case, an officially still-contested partial state capture by a single local oligarchic group, in line with the (partial) Elite Cartels corruption pattern in Slovakia. Due to the manner in which evidence, although considered unofficial, was made available, this case illustrates secret political and business processes during partial state capture. The initial absence of the case in public, political, and academic discourses, suggests that state capture can be present and operate undetected for a long time. This study also shows that in-depth analysis of the Gorilla case was avoided by both domestic and international political scientists, despite its paramount practical and theoretical importance. This, in turn, reflects a methodological capture of political science. Consequently, this article disentangles the complexities of the Gorilla case and lays down the foundation for further studies. Specifically, it highlights the need for more careful research, terminological precision in both theory-building and empirical findings on state and media capture based on case studies, as well as re-assessment of the methodology of political sciences used in these research areas.