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Serbia as post conflict society


A presentation about post conflict Serbian society by Dusan Gamser.

A presentation about post conflict Serbian society by Dusan Gamser.

Published in Education , News & Politics
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  • 1. Serbia: Post-conflict society onSerbia: Post-conflict society onthe road to the EUthe road to the EUStudy trip "AREAS OF FREEDOM -PERSPECTIVES FOR SERBIA", 2013A presentation by Dušan Gamser
  • 2. SFR Yugoslavia: a Cold Warprofiteer? In 1944, Tito and Partisans enteredBelgrade Yugoslavia re-emerged as a federation,based on equal rights of its nations Communist party rule replaced theautoritarian, quasi-pluralist monarchy A bloody showdown with "reactionaries" Nationalization of property, installation ofthe Stalinist system Until 1948 - close alliance with the USSR
  • 3. SFR Yugoslavia: a Cold Warprofiteer? Tito broke away from Stalin in 1948 Yugoslavia developed its own communistmodel Single party rule, rather indirect than direct Workers councils in companies Limited private property in agriculture andsmall entrepreneurship Quasi/proto-market economy
  • 4. SFR Yugoslavia: a Cold Warprofiteer? Free minds in technical science Limited freedom in social science No state-imposed artistic style, yet certainlimitations to artists From 1960s on - free travel abroad Legal equality of women, modern familylaws, "free" education and health care Secularism, yet discrimination of believers
  • 5. SFR Yugoslavia: a Cold Warprofiteer? Non-aligned foreign policy Yugoslavia in between East and West Tito as a world statesman: soft loans fromeverywhere, cheap oil, new markets The myth of golden 1970s Late 1960s: a leftist student movement Early 1970s: symmetrical showdown withboth nationalists and "liberals" Tito died in May 1980
  • 6. Serbia in between East and West 1804: start of the struggle for independence fromOttoman Empire 1878: Independence of (central) Serbia Throughout 1800s: dynastic struggle Ever since 1804: tension between traditionalismand modernization 1918: Creation of Yugoslavia, under Serb politicaldomination 1941-1944: Nazi occupation, two rival resistancemovements, civil war
  • 7. Serbia in between East and West Liberals or populists? Western Europe orRussia? National unity or modernization? Socialism or nationalism? Autocraticmodernization or autocratic traditionalism? Fall of The Wall: Opportunity or curse? Dissolution of Yugoslavia: EU or GreaterSerbia? 1990: liberal reforms or ethno-nationalism?
  • 8. The wrong choice of the late 1980s September 1987: Milošević takes hold of theLeague of Communists of Serbia A unique blend of autoritarian socialism andethno-nationalism 1990: quasi-pluralism, Milošević wins 65% 1991-1999: Breakup of Yugoslavia, wars inSlovenia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo 1995: Dayton Agreement; federation of Serbia andMontenegro as an equal heir to SFRJ
  • 9. War heritage of the 1990s Ethno-nationalism as the only game in town Autoritarian control over media Strong government plus crony capitalism Criminalized economy, corruption Economic collapse, fall of GDP, inflation The downfall of all value systems Isolation from Europe; UN embargo; visas Rigged elections of the 1990s: quasi-pluralism; death squads of the late 1990s
  • 10. Resistance against Milošević Opposition parties: mottled, many of them alsonationalistic No ideological segmentation of the politicalmarket, just pro- or anti-Milošević NGOs: out-numbered, isolated, rigid OTPOR: humour as a tool of resistance Democratic Opposition of Serbia (DOS) Milošević lost elections, but tried to rig 5 October 2000 uprising: electoral democracyestablished - window of opportunity for reforms
  • 11. Heights and defects of the 5 October Non-violent change of the regime, the veryfirst one in Serbian history Benefits: smoother transfer of power, nocivil war, many lives saved, less hardfeelings and no drive for vendetta The cost: a compromise with the securityapparatus, organized crime and warcriminals Consequences: more obstacles to reforms,assassination of the first PM Zoran Đinđić
  • 12. Heights and defects of the 5 October Major promises as of September 2000 A benefit: high popular support for thechange of the regime The cost: high expectations that hinderedeconomic transition Consequence: unfinished transition, strongpublic sector, dependency on government,"partitocracy"
  • 13. Major post-2000 reforms: war crimes 2001: extradiction of Milošević to ICTY 2005/6: voluntary surrender of a number ofindictees to ICTY 2008: extradiction of Radovan Karadžić 2011: extradiction of Ratko Mladić Domestic trials: relatively rare and slow Mass graves in Serbia: discovered, subsequentlyneglected 2003: Law on Lustration carried, but never applied Improvements for ethnic minorities, except Rroma
  • 14. Major post-2000 reforms: economy Liberalization of foreign trade End of "political banking", foreign banks pouredin as the soundest part of the economy CEFTA agreement with WB neighbours Massive turnabout towards EU Foreign direct investments Massive, yet incomplete privatization Tax system, any ... introducing VAT Restitution has just started Energy dependence on Russia
  • 15. Major post-2000 reforms: LG Local governments played a key role in the2000 change of the regime Autonomy of Vojvodina re-emerged, stillw/o substantial constitutional guarantees New regulation on LGUs: moreresponsibilities, matched with too little orwith too much finance Several local success stories, includingBelgrade, but slow development of the restof the country
  • 16. Major problems of Serbia: Kosovo Kosovo Myth as the backbone of Serb identity Constitution as of 2006 as an obstacle to fullrecognition of Kosovo by Serbia "Technical talks" conducted by Tadićadministration between 2010-2012 Brussels talks as of 2012/13: a historicalbreakthrough, however achieved by "bad guys"from the 1990s Window of opportunity to start meaningfulreconciliation and normalization of relations
  • 17. Major problems of Serbia: Economy Slow growth, inflation Structural problems: too large public sector; hugesubsidies to loss makers; subsistance farming ... Unfinished privatisation; monopolies Lack of entrepreneurial spirit Dependency on state, political clientelism Corruption and organized crime Lack of rule of law, egalitarian mindset Destroyed old industries, no re-industrialisation
  • 18. Major problems of Serbia: Welfare statethat delivers no welfare Ageing population - average Serbs head towardstheir mid-40s; a pensioner per capita of anemployee; plus 26% unemployment "Free" education and health care as "acquiredrights": mockery at best, food for demagoguery atworst Budget deficit: 40% of the state budget is spenton subsidizing the pension fund, on the top of itsoriginal income Humanism requires health care for all, yet no oneis guaranteed even a minumum of health care
  • 19. Major problems of Serbia: Obsolete publicadministration Inflation of the public administration, even after2000, especially in the LGUs "E-government" as mockery Corruption instead of customer-orientation "One stop shop" ("rapid response offices")demagoguery Anti-corruption struggle is still in its baby pants:lack of institutions, yet a surplus of demagoguery State organization: remnants of SRFJ Reforms of the security sector: too few, too slow
  • 20. Major problems of Serbia: Education System has not changed since early 1980s Not even a thought of vouchers or other financingper capita of student instead of p/c of teacher Private schools are very rare Private universities blossom - in average, ofpoorer quality, yet costlier than public ones Curricula: blending the worst of communist andnationalist dogmas The result: an isolated generation of extremists,ultra-nationalists, homophobes, w/o much usableknowledge
  • 21. Major problems of Serbia: Ambiguity betweenRussia and the EU Kosovo-driven foreign policy Russian myth Ethno-nationalist discourse prevents from fullregional integration "Serbian Dream", EU as an ATM, or, as a newYugoslavia Resistance towards NATO accession; anti-Americanism The "non-alignment" myth Controversial role of Turkey
  • 22. Perspectives on the road to the EU Accession process will take at least a decade Window of opportunity for economic,administrative and social reforms Further segmentation of the political market Alternatives: South-European or Central-European model of EU integration Key challenge: full acceptance of Europeanvalues and change of egalitarian andcollectivist mindset
  • 23. Role of liberals in transition in Serbia During 1990s: Civic Alliance of Serbia (GSS) asanti-war party and human-rights watchdog, later amember of ELDR Gradual emergence of liberal politicians: socialliberalism first, economic one later 2005: establishment of the Liberal DemocraticParty (LDP) LDP: a member of ALDE, and among thestrongest liberal groups in the WB region Substantial role of the FNF in re-emergence oforganized liberalism in Serbia
  • 24. LGBT rights: still a tricky issue in Serbia Technically, homosexuality has been decriminalized inSerbia ever since 1977 Tolerated "between the four walls", not in public Attempts to organize Gay Pride Parade failed in 2001,2009, 2011 and 2012, while held, under seige, in 2010 Constitution implicitly forbids same-sex marriages LGBTs face discrimination in many areas of life There are very few, if any, "outed" politicians LDP is the only political party to join the Gay Pride 2010
  • 25. Inner strenghts and challenges of the LDP Ideology: a blend of social and economicliberalism - a political party whichsimultaneously advocates gay rights andcapitalism is a rare bird even in the West Innovative party marketing, extensive useof social networks Balance between party discipline and broadcooperation with intelligentia and/or NGOs Dedicated leadership and rank and file.