Post-Yugoslav spaces between defective democracies, authoritarianism, and kleptocracies

Faruk Hadžić


In post-Yugoslav spaces, democracy has not been won by independent and robust social groups that can act as a counterweight to the state structure, with formed interests that act "transformatively"; not directing political change and form the basis of political pluralism. In the processes of political and social transformation of society, pragmatism is a dangerous thing, and the apparent tendency of key political actors to follow the "speech of Europe" in their daily political practice without taking into the content. Ethnonationalism does not bring political scenes a socioeconomic system that would already be independently formed, with appropriate bearers of transformative interests and competing "projects" of the new order. Therefore, the worst uncertainty and fragility can slow down the normalization process and other unplanned consequences. The class of nationalist capitalists, political-economic oligarchies, during the conflicts, takes control of the state apparatus and ownership of economic resources, constituting "nation-states"; unilateral expropriation presented as a self-legitimizing act by which the whole society realizes its being in the form of sovereignty and embodies itself by constituting its "nation-state". Within the notion of "captured states," we can speak from the social property, which is privatized by post-war "tycoons;" supporting authoritarian rulers linked to kleptocracy as a strategy to maintain stability undermines the EU accession process. Civil resistance is not progressive, and all should define life in a democratic society. It is an urgent task of building a civic or democratic political culture, which is inconceivable without a built civil society. Even the banal level of democracy will not survive for a long time, and more countries are moving towards unequivocal authoritarianism and pure illiberalism.

Keywords: Former Yugoslavia, kleptocracy, authoritarianism, defective democracy, political culture, civil society

DOI: 10.7176/IAGS/86-04

Publication date:September 30th 2020

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