In November 1989 he was a founding member of the political movement Public Against Violence, the leading movement of the democratic revolution in Slovakia. He was the human rights advisor to the former president of Czechoslovakia Václav Havel from 1990 to 1992.
He was the Slovak Ambassador to the United States from 1999 to 2003.
His sociological work focuses on international politics, transatlantic relations, human rights, and minorities.
- Abschied von der Tschechoslowakei: Ursachen und Folgen der tschechisch-slowakischen Trennung (Farewell to Czechoslovakia: Causes and Consequences of the Czech-Slovak Separation). Köln : Verlag Wissenschaft und Politik, 1993. ISBN 9783804688032 (with Rüdiger Kipke and Karel Vodička)
- "Slovakia's Democratic Awakening," Journal of Democracy 10 (1, 1999): 80–95 (with Zora Bútorova)
- We Saw the Holocaust. Bratislava: Milan Šimečku Foundation, 2005. ISBN 8089008194 (eds., with Nadácia Milana Šimečku, et al.)
- Active Citizenship and the Nongovernmental Sector in Slovakia: Trends and Perspectives. Bratislava: Včelí Dom, 2012. ISBN 9788097088514 (with Zora Bútorova and Boris Strečanský)
Honors and awards
- 1999 – Democracy Service Medal, National Endowment for Democracy, Washington, D.C.
- 2000 – Ján Papánek Medal
- 2000 – Order of Ľudovít Štúr, for his contribution to defense of human rights and development of civil society, awarded by Rudolf Schuster, President of Slovakia.
- 2002 – Celebration of Freedom Award, American Jewish Committee
- 2012 – Czech and Slovak Freedom Lecture, Woodrow Wilson Center, Washington, DC
- "Evolution in Europe; Slovaks Pressing Czechs For an Equal Partnership". New York Times. May 18, 1990. Retrieved February 14, 2010.
- Nicholson, Tom (February 15, 1999). "Slovakia's new Ambassador to Washington: "We have to work like workaholics to catch up" after Mečiar". The Slovak Spectator. Retrieved February 14, 2010.
- "Taking Communists to Court: Road Strewn With Nettles, Czechs Say". New York Times. January 24, 1992. Retrieved January 24, 2010.
- "Martin Bútora". Retrieved February 14, 2010.
- Bútora, Martin; Bútorová, Zora (1999-01-01). "Slovakia's Democratic Awakening". Journal of Democracy. 10 (1): 80–95. doi:10.1353/jod.1999.0003. ISSN 1086-3214.
- "Twenty Years of Independence: Reflections on Freedom and Democracy," November 16, 2012, Woodrow Wilson Center. Accessed: November 12, 2012.