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Post-Yugoslav Region between Democratisation and Europeanisation of Party Politics: Experiences from Slovenia and Bosnia-Herzegovina

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Lajh, Damjan; Krašovec, Alenka

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Abstract The main aim of this article is to discuss the potential interlocking of democratization and Europeanization processes in party politics in Slovenia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, the two “extremes” in former Yugoslavia. While Slovenia has already gained full membership of the EU and has experienced the Europeanization processes in various aspects of the political system and public policies, Bosnia-Herzegovina, with the status of “potential candidate state for EU accession”, is still facing deep challenges related to the processes of Europeanization. While Slovenia has already gone through the five steps of Europeanization processes, Bosnia-Herzegovina is still stuck at the first step. Although at the very first stage Bosnia-Herzegovina followed the Slovenian pattern of Europeanization of party politics that includes establishing incremental formal links between national political parties and European party federations, further Europeanization processes in Bosnia-Herzegovina above all demand a democratically consolidated party arena, that for political parties would not lead to pressure to adapt themselves in order to mobilize their voters along ethnic lines. All in all, the conducted analysis revealed the two investigated countries are very different for making direct comparisons; nonetheless there was a common Yugoslav tradition in the past. Bosnia-Herzegovina is a unique European state, due to its mixed ethnic structure and strong ethnic cleavages, and thus we cannot expect a Slovenian and consequently a Central and Eastern European pattern of Europeanization processes, in Bosnian party politics.
Classification Political Process, Elections, Political Sociology, Political Culture
Free Keywords democratization; Europeanization; party politics; Slovenia; Bosnia-Herzegovina
Publication Year 2007
Page/Pages p. 71-91
Journal Politics in Central Europe, 3 (2007) 1+2
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Deposit Licence - No Redistribution, No Modifications