Democratic Values and Ethnic Polarization in the West Balkans: An Introduction

Journal article

Ramet, Sabrina P. (2010) Democratic Values and Ethnic Polarization in the West Balkans: An Introduction, Südosteuropa 58 (1): 2–14.

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The following article presents an introductory overview of the contributions to the present issue, focusing on the significance of values in political culture, as well as on patterns of ethnic polarization in Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Kosovo, and Albania. The persistent ethnic polarization inherent in most of these societies, as well as the consequences of both the wars of Yugoslav succession and the effects of post-socialist transformation have produced deficiencies and delays in the development of a civic culture and in the consolidation of democratic values. Although some positive and surprising results were brought forth by the sociological analyses presented within the single case studies in this issue, the combination of the above-mentioned aspects continues to represent a potential threat to the overall stability of the region.

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