The Never-Boring Balkans: The Elections of 2016

Issue Date January 2017
Volume 28
Issue 1
Page Numbers 116-28
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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.

About the Author

Srdjan Darmanović is professor of comparative politics at the University of Montenegro and a member of the Council of Europe’s Venice Commission. From 2010 until early in October 2016, he served as Montenegro’s ambassador to the United States. On 28 November 2016, he was named Montenegro’s foreign minister–designate.

View all work by Srdjan Darmanović