Join the Center for Slavic, Eurasian and East European Studies (CSEEES) for a book panel discussion to mark the publication of Jasmin Mujanović’s monograph Hunger and Fury: The Crisis of Democracy in the Balkans.
Participants include Kiran Auerbach, a doctoral candidate in the Department of Political Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Dimitar Bechev, a CSEEES fellow; Besir Ceka, an assistant professor at Davidson College; and Mujanović.
Less than two decades after the Yugoslav Wars ended, the edifice of parliamentary government in the Western Balkans is crumbling. This collapse sets into sharp relief the unreformed authoritarian tendencies of the region’s entrenched elites, many of whom have held power since the early 1990s, and the hollowness of the West’s ‘democratisation’ agenda.
There is a widely held assumption that institutional collapse will precipitate a new bout of ethnic conflict, but Mujanović argues instead that the Balkans are on the cusp of a historic socio-political transformation. Drawing on a wide variety of sources, with a unique focus on local activist accounts, he argues that a period of genuine democratic transition is finally dawning, led by grassroots social movements, from Zagreb to Skopje. Rather than pursuing ethnic strife, these new Balkan revolutionaries are confronting the ‘ethnic entrepreneurs’ cemented in power by the West in its efforts to stabilize the region since the mid-1990s.