This discussion of ethnic relations within Slovakia concentrates on developments taking place after the collapse of communism. Two situations of ethnic tension are analysed in detail - one involving Slovakia's Ruthenian minority and the other engaging the country's Hungarian inhabitants. In both cases relations with the Slovak majority involve not only processes internal to Slovakia but also dynamics beyond its borders. Despite ethnic tensions within the country conflict is not widespread because there is a relatively high level of democracy and openness to economic change. The lowest levels of ethnic tension are to be found in the most heterogeneous areas of the country and the highest levels are encountered among the intellectual and political elites. Ethnic conflict is largely contained within the different communities which make up Slovakia and when inter-ethnic conflict does arise it is limited, so far, to the level of social and political elites.