Conception and methodical aspects of phrasing and implementing the national strategy

Mitar Kovač/Jan Marček

This essay represents an attempt to define the concept of a national strategy on the basis of a comparative analysis of current knowledge, and to define contents and extent of this concept and its importance for the survival and development of a nation within the present strategic context. In addition to that, the relationship of this concept with other concepts, which are closely connected with this, is investigated, and a look into the most relevant methodical dimensions, apparent when drawing up and realizing the national strategy as a programmatic document, is made. The concept of a national strategy is relatively new and not only concerns security and defence, but also other duties of the government. In order to guarantee the clearness of the concept, the continuous changes of contents and extent according to the opposite views of different authors and nations, where the concept meets varying terms, such as national strategy, full-scale strategy, social development strategy, major strategy, general strategy, or complete strategy, are demonstrated. The fact that the factors concerning the basic national interests have changed in a more severely and relevant way more than ever, has influenced the most important national and governmental values as well. In the light of this, in many states the national strategy is above the acting or future administration, and consequently above politics, because the relevant national interests have been laid down in consensus by all relevant political players. Without a governmental strategy representing a unique national vision, which is based upon values, interests and goals, no relatively stable and objective national security strategy, or any other separate strategy for the main functions of the state, can be defined in a consistent way. The theoretical, epistemological and methodical dimensions of a national strategy are decisive for its creation and development. The name of the document as well as its form are not as important as the fact that it exists, and that all relevant society players have been involved in its preparation. This document has to put forward the most important strategic guidelines for the interests and the vision of the development of society, always taking into account the factors of the strategic environment determining it. With a national strategy and clearly presented strategic commitments concerning all relevant issues of society, including values, interests, goals and ways how to realize it, the state presents itself as a responsible-minded actor, who will act with all its authority and capabilities for the benefit of its citizens. Thus the state becomes a service provider and a trouble shooter in all areas of living together.