Perspectives Southeast Europe

Our Flagship Publication

the past is now

Perspectives: The Past is Now

After the devastating wars on the territory of the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, in recent decades, we have observed that the (re)construction of national historiographies is also driving societies further and further apart. Despite the gloomy picture drawn in this publication, coming to terms with the region’s traumatic history could be an essential contribution to European unification. With this publication, we hope to provide an impulse to that end.
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Perspectives - Green Transition and Social (In)justice

After decades of warnings, it seems that the green transition – the huge change that should slow down, mitigate, and eventually stop, if not reverse, the threatening deterioration of living conditions on this planet – is finally on everybody’s lips.  This edition of Perspectives explains the concept of a just transition - a way to make the change without leaving anyone behind.
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Perspectives - Kosovo 1999-2019: A Hostage Crisis

Twenty years on from the Kosovo War, the collective memory of both parties in the conflict remains burdened by myths and incontestable truths about what actually took place. The process of reconciliation and building longstanding peace is being undermined, primarily, by political elites in both countries, whose populist policies amplify the prejudices between Kosovar Albanians and Serbs. In this issue of Perspectives we aim to highlight the fact that Kosovo is not just a toponym, but a country burdened by its recent violent history, where common people are struggling to rebuild the broken societies that the conflict has left behind.

Perspectives - Stabilocracy and/or Radicalization?

It seems that the expected transition to democracy and free market economy in ‘western Balkans’ has become a never-ending story. Societies are weak, pluralism develops slowly and with great difficulties, political elites still dominate, and economies are still dependent either on political authorities or on international companies. At the same time, we bear witness to authoritarianism, intolerance, more or less constant popular support to the same political leaders or parties who get re-elected in spite of the poor economic and social performance of their respective governments, and the widespread corruption.

Narratives in the Balkans - In the Combat Zone #6

Open confrontations in the post-Yugoslav wars gave the advocates of ethno-nationalist ideologies (and their users) plenty of experiences or "proof" which "confirmed" all previous fears and concerns: "they" (another ethnic collective) are "out to get us". The wartime period, as well as post-war years,  have been featured by spreading narratives which concretizes the abstract and empty ideology of ethnicity.

Perspectives SEE - Still stuck in the past: How addressing Energy and Climate Change can advance development #5

This issue of Perspectives is dedicated to climate change mitigation in the Western Balkans, because of both the global need to limit global warming but also because mitigating climate change, as the articles show, goes hand in hand with development both in terms of economic growth and in terms of health, wellbeing and societal development. With this context in mind, the articles before you shed light upon some of the commonly overlooked aspects of it but also point to solutions which are good starting points for any future changes in how we think of energy, development, and public good more broadly.

Perspectives - Captured states in the Balkans

The conditions in the Balkans prove clearly that the local political caste does not have anything in common with politics in the traditional sense: It is not concerned with solving social, economic or ecological issues, or with increasing general prosperity – the guiding principles of good governance have hardly been implemented. In point of fact, the concern is with using state resources in an unhindered manner and with protecting these all so beneficial doorways for friends and family members.

Perspectives SEE - Right to the City #3

It seems as though the term citizen does not need a specific explanation. It is an inhabitant of a certain country or a city, a person with legally recognized citizenship, who pays taxes and fulfills their obligations to the community, and enjoys certain rights in return. But how often is that really the case? How many citizens in the world can say that they are true citizens according to this definition? Given the current global situation, not many. In this issue of “Perspectives”, our focus is on citizens and cities in the Western Balkans. A hard copy of this issue you can order from our Belgrade office.
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Perspectives - 'International Community' and the Limits of External Intervention

  When a country is going through deep systemic changes in its political, economic, and ideological makeup, its (inter)dependence on the international environment may intensify greatly. This took place in almost all post-communist countries 25 years ago. The need to use internationally established models in systems which are only beginning to develop political pluralism and democracy, as well as solutions for functioning rule of law, and overall opening up of society, which is accompanied by the ideal of freedom, have led to a conscious openness to external influence. The articles compiled for this edition of Perspectives bring together different accounts of current challenges for international intervention in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia1, and Serbia.   1This edition of Perspectives was published before the Prespa Agreement  

Perspectives SEE - Young Adults #1

Perspectives Southeastern Europe (SEE) is a publication series produced in cooperation between the SEE branches of the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung. With this series, we aim to provide, primarily for the foreign readership, better insight into specific Southeastern European perspectives, as well as to analyze global societal and political trends reflected through the prism of our region. The focus of Perspectives SEE shall remain mainly on the countries in SEE where the Foundation has established its offices and/or where our activities are being carried out: Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Albania and Macedonia. The first issue of Perspectives Southeastern Europe is dedicated to the specific status of young adults in the Balkans, given the fact that they are featured by a different form of transition to adulthood as compared to their Western European peers. Namely, the countries of Eastern and Southeastern Europe are characterized by a transition to adulthood that has been very much standardized in the tradition of communist government systems.   A hard copy of this issue you can order from our Belgrade office.