Civic and Uncivic Values

Civic and Uncivic Values: Serbia in the Post-Milošević Era

Ola Listhaug
Sabrina P. Ramet
Dragana Dulić
Copyright Date: 2011
Edition: NED - New edition, 1
Pages: 468
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  • Book Info
    Civic and Uncivic Values
    Book Description:

    Discusses Serbia’s struggle for democratic values after the fall of the Milosevic regime provoked by the NATO war, and after the trauma caused by the secession of Kosovo. Are the value systems of the post-Milosevic era true stumbling blocks of a delayed transition of this country? Seventeen contributors from Norway, Serbia, Italy, Germany, Poland and some other European countries covered a broad range of topics in order to provide answers to this question. The subjects of their investigations were national myths and symbols, history textbooks, media, film, religion, inter-ethnic dialogue, transitional justice, political party agendas and other related themes.

    eISBN: 978-963-9776-99-9
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Preface
    (pp. ix-x)
    Ola Listhaug, Sabrina P. Ramet and Dragana Dulić
  4. Part One Introduction

    • 1 Serbia’s Corrupt Path to the Rule of Law: An Introduction
      (pp. 3-20)
      Sabrina P. Ramet

      This volume focuses on the transformation of values in Serbia since 2000, looking at both civic and uncivic values. Civic values are understood to be values supportive of ethnic tolerance, interconfessional harmony, human equality, tolerance of sexual minorities, and the rule of law. Those subscribing to civic values emphasize common citizenship as the basis for the community—in this case, all Serbians, regardless of whether they are ethnically Serb or Hungarian or Albanian or Turk. Uncivic values are understood to be values corrosive of these civic (liberal) principles. Those subscribing to nationalist (uncivic) values look to common ethnicity as the...

    • 2 Serbia after Milošević: The Rebirth of a Nation
      (pp. 21-48)
      Dragana Dulić

      Serbia belongs to that group of countries once called by German historians an “in-between Europe” (Zwischeneuropa). A distinctive feature of this position was the parochialism¹ and marginalization of its political culture for much of the modern history of Europe, primarily in the sense of an uncompleted process of nation-building. Serbian transition to democracy, market economy and national autonomy has been constantly threatened by extremely anti-modern ideological foundations and thus challenging democracy to run cool and avoid intense and sustained conflicts and/or breakdown. Throughout the last two centuries Serbia’s long-standing authoritarian, paternalist tradition and its traditionalist and collectivist political culture² have...

  5. Part Two Political and Social Values

    • 3 Serbian Civic Values in a European Context
      (pp. 51-76)
      Ola Listhaug, Kristen Ringdal and Albert Simkus

      Serbia has been among the last of the European post-socialist societies to begin to be assimilated within the broad community of Western and Central European societies. The blockages in the processes of internal political and economic transition have been closely related, as causes and consequences, of this delayed process of assimilation. The delays and blocks in transition and West-Central European assimilation have been accompanied by very deep and serious divisions in Serbian public opinion, with large numbers of Serbs on opposing sides of basic issues, with significant numbers expressing ambivalent attitudes in between these sides.

      Diverse citizens of Serbian society...

    • 4 The EU in the Values and Expectations of Serbia: Challenges, Opportunities, and Confrontations
      (pp. 77-110)
      Stefano Bianchini

      In an introductory chapter to a book on value changes and transition in Serbia, Dragomir Pantić has observed that values play a double role, since they mirror our time and its relation with the past. Simultaneously, they comprise the capability of going beyond the reality, therefore presenting a pathway for the future.¹

      In other words, political, cultural and economic changes strictly depend on reshaping values, although the latter—particularly in societies experiencing radical and comprehensive regime transitions—stem from a peculiar and unpredictable combination of cultural/political (as well as economic and social) legacies and future aspirations. In a time of...

    • 5 Orthodox Values and Modern Necessities: Serbian Orthodox Clergy and Laypeople on Democracy, Human Rights, Transition, and Globalization
      (pp. 111-142)
      Klaus Buchenau

      Any society needs a certain amount of shared values in order to function. This is true even for individualist and pluralist Western societies, which have reduced the set of common values but insist on so-called core values such as tolerance, justice, freedom, mutual respect, and human dignity. There has never been a catalogue of mandatory western core values, but usually democracy and a respect for human rights are included. From a standard western point of view, globalization and, in the case of post-socialist societies, transition are processes which spread these core values into other parts of the world. Since large...

    • 6 The Social Values of Serbian Youth
      (pp. 143-160)
      Nebojša Petrović

      On the eve of the disappearance of the Socialist Federated Republic of Yugoslavia and the outbreak of war, Belgrade’s Institute of Social Sciences published the results of a comprehensive study of young people, under the title, Children of Crisis. Instead of moving toward resolution, the institute found, the crisis had become worse and even unbearable, and indeed, the most recent years had seen a change in people’s perception, so much so that earlier years, which they had viewed as a crisis at the time, now seemed to them to have been a belle époque. During the war years (1991–95),...

  6. Part Three Media and Films

    • 7 The Post-2000 Media Situation in Serbia
      (pp. 163-194)
      Izabela Kisić and Slavija Stanojlović

      The 5 October 2000 ouster of Slobodan Miloševié did not mark the break with the decade-long policy which he had embodied. On the contrary, the ideological masterminds of the Greater Serbia project (influential intellectual circles rallied around the Serb Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Association of Writers of Serbia, etc.) and “executors” thereof on the ground (army, police and their intelligence services), removed the highly compromised Miloševié in order to continue the implementation of that project by other means, whereby “democratic transition” was a facade which clouded the intent of their efforts.

      The foregoing was indicated by all the...

    • 8 We All Live Two Lives: Serbian Cinema & Changing Values in Post Yugoslavia
      (pp. 195-218)
      Andrew Horton

      Film has the power to inspire, to incite, to provoke, to change the way we think. A “war film” can encourage the viewer to identify with one side or the other, or to blame outsiders, or to view war as something which simply happens. Films can promote civic values or nationalist hatred, they can encourage the viewer to view women as sexual objects or promote a culture of gender equality, and they can foster tolerance or promote intolerance. Film is a powerful medium directly relevant to the values which exist or come to exist in a society. In Serbia today,...

  7. Part Four Schools, Gender, and Nationalism

    • 9 Value Changes in the Interpretations of History in Serbia
      (pp. 221-240)
      Dubravka Stojanović

      “Serbs, gentlemen, just without history and similar crap.” This is how Richard Holbrooke, international negotiator and emissary of President Bill Clinton, started one of the many rounds of negotiations during the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina. By doing so, Holbrooke demonstrated that, through contacts with local political leaders, he understood the great importance of using historical arguments in the existing political culture. He was right. Wars in the former Yugoslavia during the 1990s were processed by advertising, rationalised by ideology, and psychologically justified because para-historical explanations put the bloody resolution of the Yugoslav drama in the necessary historical context¹.

      These “games with...

    • 10 Nationalism as a Religion: Examples from Contemporary Serbia
      (pp. 241-252)
      Ivan Čolović

      I propose that we first visit Hilandar, joining those who are doing a pilgrimage to this holy place. As you probably already know, Hilandar is a monastery at the foot of the Holy Mountain, that is, Mount Athos, on the Halkidikki Peninsula in Greece. At the end of the 12th century, it was restored and made into a Serbian monastery by Rastko Nemanjić, St. Sava, the first archbishop of an independent Serbian Orthodox church, and by his father Stefan Nemanja, the Grand Župan (Grand Prince) and the founder of the Nemanjić dynasty, who took his monastic orders under the name...

    • 11 Engendering Political Responsibility: Transitional Justice in Serbia
      (pp. 253-264)
      Daša Duhaček

      In the wake of the May 2008 elections in Serbia—one of many—it has to be acknowledged that after eight years of what one might have hoped would be a structural change, a turn to the undoubtedly democratic, pro-European policy, this political option has not in fact enjoyed the support of the majority of Serbian citizens. Without going into a detailed breakdown of political choices, what testifies to this assessment is the fact that the parliamentary elections in May 2008 offered the following outcomes: one, the creation of a government of the conservative ultra-right Serbian Radical Party, two, new...

  8. Part Five Kosovo as Myth and as Politics

    • 12 Dead Kings and National Myths: Why Myths of Founding and Martyrdom Are Important
      (pp. 267-298)
      Sabrina P. Ramet

      The use of myths and religion in politics has a long history. Myths can establish a claim to dynastic legitimacy, to coveted territory, to glory, even to sainthood on the part of the central figure in a myth. Canonization is, in its own right, an especially powerful tool. There are, of course, diverse reasons for elevating someone to sainthood—among them: the desire to hold up for emulation a particularly pious and kind person, the wish to gratify the inhabitants of a certain country or region by honoring one of their own, the calculation that the creation of a national...

    • 13 Discursive Practices and Semiotic Representations: Serbian Rhetoric about Montenegro and Kosovo
      (pp. 299-328)
      Maciej Czerwiñski

      The most recent developments in the post-Yugoslav region, both the referendum in Montenegro (May 2006), which led to that republic’s formal declaration of independence (June 2006), and the declaration of independence by Kosovo (February 2008), were of a great importance (in social, political, geopolitical, and cultural terms) for the region and for Serbia itself. They deconstructed the political configuration of what was left of Yugoslavia and, what is important for us in this chapter, influenced and stabilized certain movements within semiotic space that underlie communicative behavior, i.e., concrete discursive practices. Since values, be they civic or non-civic, could function only...

    • 14 Kosovo in Serbian Politics since Milošević
      (pp. 329-368)
      Hilde Katrine Haug

      Premier Koštunica delivered his emotional speech on Kosovo on 21 February 2008 to approximately 200,000-300,000 Serbs who had ventured onto the streets of Belgrade to protest the Declaration of Independence (UDI) by Kosovo on 17 February. The event was organized by the Serbian Government. The Democratic Party of Serbia (DSS), New Serbia (NS) and the Serbian Radical Party (SRS), the Nationalist/Patriotic bloc in Serbia, all participated, while the Democratic Party (DS) abstained from the event. It nevertheless attracted support from a broad layer of the population. While the event was meant to demonstrate Serbian unity over its rejection of Kosovo’s...

    • 15 Inter-ethnic Dialogue between Serbs and Albanians in Serbia/Kosovo, 1996–2008
      (pp. 369-398)
      Steinar Bryn

      In this chapter, I will tell a story. It begins with how the Nansen Dialogue, a method of interethnic dialogue, developed from 1995 to 1997 with participants from ex-Yugoslavia in Lillehammer, Norway, was introduced in Priština in the fall of 1997. I will show how this method stimulated Serbian-Albanian dialogue up until March 1999 and how it was reintroduced already in 2000, in spite of the painful memories on both sides from the war and its aftermath. These dialogue meetings focused mainly on understanding what happened and why.

      As the conflict spread into South Serbia (2000) and Northwest Macedonia (2001),...

  9. Part Six Conclusion

    • 16 The Power of Values (A Conclusion)
      (pp. 401-408)
      Sabrina P. Ramet

      Those of us who have contributed to this volume share the conviction that values matter for political behavior. Values are those goods or goals that we consider important, that we strive to realize or preserve, that we believe should guide policy, and a value orientation always involves giving higher priority to some values and lower priority to others. For example, when a group believes that the value of “preserving” Serbian jurisdiction over Kosovo has a high priority but that promoting gender equality and social tolerance has a low priority, that group will press for certain policies, rather than others. We...

  10. List of Contributors
    (pp. 409-418)
  11. Index of Names
    (pp. 419-426)
  12. Subject Index
    (pp. 427-457)