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Democracy without Citizens: Inadequate Consolidation in Two Decades of the Western Balkans Democracy

[journal article]

Petričušić, Antonija

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Please use the following Persistent Identifier (PID) to cite this document:http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0168-ssoar-360235

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Abstract Potential candidate countries of the Western Balkans have to be(come) stable democracies in order to be allowed to join the European Union (EU). In reaching this goal they are, besides economic and institutional challenges, being contingent upon not only by the legacies of recent large scale inter-ethnic conflicts, but also by the socio-cultural characteristics of their citizens. The empirical data presented in this paper reveal that citizens of the Western Balkans countries generally do not trust in political institutions, demonstrate almost apathy for social and political actions and believe they themselves are not able to influence the political process. This all results in low and inadequate political participation in all surveyed countries, and along with their undeveloped political culture, it indicates inadequate democracy promotion in the EU’s accession policy in the entire region. This paper therefore argues that the EU should consider changing the pre-accession democratisation approach, since mere export of its regulatory framework so far has not contributed to the democratic consolidation and development of democratic political culture in the future Member States from the Western Balkans.
Keywords Southeastern Europe; democratization; Europeanization; joining the European Union; political participation; political change; political attitude; political culture; public opinion
Classification Political Process, Elections, Political Sociology, Political Culture
Free Keywords democracy promotion through the Stabilisation and Association Process; consolidation of political culture; external socialization
Document language English
Publication Year 2013
Page/Pages p. 34-54
Journal European Quarterly of Political Attitudes and Mentalities, 2 (2013) 4
ISSN 2285-4916
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works