A quarter-century since the troubled democratic transitions of the former Yugoslav republics, elections in the region are competitive and few would expect that losers would dare to reject voters’ verdict. Europe’s proximity and the institutions of Euro-Atlantic integration have greatly aided the region’s transformation. Yet this tale of a region eager to integrate with the West is not the whole story. By examining the 2016 elections held in Croatia, Serbia, and Montenegro, along with some earlier yet still recent contests, we can gain a window into the still troubled politics of the Balkans. For even though democracy has become a reality there, it continues to struggle with challenges posed by weak economies, widespread corruption, still-potent nationalist cross-currents, and the inevitably uneasy situation of a part of Europe that lies poised uncertainly between Russia and the West.
The Never-Boring Balkans: The Elections of 2016
Issue Date January 2017
Page Numbers 116-28