Bieber, Florian – The Rise of Authoritarianism in the Western Balkans

Florian Bieber
The Rise of Authoritarianism in the Western BalkansUspon Korice_C
Translated from English by ĐorđeTomić
240 pages
Price: 800 dinars





Florian Bieber (Luksemburg 1973) is professor of political science and the history of Southeast Europe and director of the Center for Southeast European Studies at the University of Graz (Austria). He also acts as coordinator for the Balkans in Europe Policy Advisory Group (BiEPAG). From 2001 to 2006 he worked in Belgrade and Sarajevo as an associate of the European Centre for Minority Issues. He has taught as a visiting professor at several universities in Europe and the United States, among them the universities of Belgrade and Sarajevo. Among Bieber’s recent works, in addition to The rise of authoritarianism in the Western Balkans, are two other books: Debating Nationalism, Bloomsbury 2020) and Negotiating Unity and Diversity in the European Union, Palgrave, in press).

This book represents an effort to locate the problem of Balkan “princes” and stabilitocracies in the context of the global rise of competitive authoritarianism. The introductory chapter addresses how the Western Balkan states moved toward deterioration and stagnation of democracy. The crisis accompanies broader global trends, but there are characteristics specific to the region. In the second chapter the author investigates the causes of the rise of semiauthoritarian regimes and asks why, even after the 1990s, democratic structures were not consolidated in the Western Balkans. The third chapter offers an overview of the problems of democratic development in each country in the region, and in the fourth chapter the author elucidates the mechanisms of competitive authoritarianism in the Western Balkans, including the exploitation of political crises and nationalism, control of the media, and the weakness of opposition and civil society. In the concluding chapter the author provides a detailed account of the development of the crisis that led to the fall of the government of Nikola Gruevski in Macedonia, to develop an explanation of the circumstances that could lead to the contestation and defeat of competitive authoritarian regimes in the Western Balkans.