The Particularity of Democratic Transition of the New States in the Western Balkans: the Case of Former Yugoslav Republics

March 22, 2013 - 13:30 - 15:10
Nador u. 9, Monument Building
Popper Room
Event type: 
Event audience: 
Gordana Siljanovska-Davkova
CEU contact person: 
Roland Schmidt
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Gordana Siljanovska-Davkova

“The Particularity of Democratic Transition of the New States in the Western Balkans: the Case of Former Yugoslav Republics” aims at analyzing the the third wave of democracy (Huntington) in the newly emerged states from Former Yugoslavia as a distinctive post-communist way of democratic transition and consolidation. This presentation will particularly focus on Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo and Macedonia. Lacking demos there was no chance to achieve a basic consensus on democratic transformation within a common state. The new-states and nation-building processes could start after bloody dissolution of the federation.  The evolutionary journey from an authoritarian system to functional democracy is an unfinished Western Balkan story. Successor states of Former Yugoslavia are good example of R. Dahrendorf’s predictions: although they have formally reformed their institutions and built a market economy, they are still far away from the desired Western polyarchies. The new Balkan states have the same prospects of joining EU, but the main obstacles on their path towards the EU are: authoritarian heritage, weak state, fragile civil society, subject political culture, deeply divided societies, particracy, oligarchic elites and leadership crisis, politicized administration, corruption and organized crime, a paramount role of the executive, brain drain, media which are dependent on various power centers....  Western Balkans is EU’s Achilles’ heel.  In 2002, Chris Patten stated: “Our choice is clear, we would either export stability to the Balkans, or would import instability in Europe”.  But, Balkan states have to change their political behavior, supporting each other on the European path if they want to show that the Homo Balcanicus is as well a Homo Europicus.


Gordana Siljanovska-Davkova is full professor of Constitutional Law, Contemporary Political Systems and Local Self-Government at the University of “Ss. Cyril and Methodius”, Law Faculty “Iustinianus Primus”-Skopje. She received her Ph.D from the University of Ljubljana in 1993. She taught Introduction to Macedonian Government at the Studies for American Students in R. of Macedonia - Tempi Arizona State University and University of Ss “Cyril and Methodius” (1995-2000). Prof. Siljanovska- Davkova is member of the European Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission), Vice-President of the Group of Independent Experts for the European Charter for Local Self-Government in the Council of Europe, UN expert for elections, member of the International Correspondence Editorial Board of Lex Localis, Maribor.  She is (co-)author of more than 100 papers and 16 books. Her last (co-)authored book is: “Civic and Uncivic Values in Macedonia” (2012), (ed) S. Ramet, O. Listhung and A. Shimkus, published by Palgrave Macmillan. In 2012 she prepared with prof. T. Karakamisheva-Jovanovska the study “Democracy, Limitation of Mandates and Incompatibility of Political Functions” for the Venice Commission. Among others, she has had study visits at to the University of Florence (2000), Moscow College of Law, Idaho (2003), Columbia Law School, New York (2003) and at Lomonosow University, Moscow (2009).