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Democratic Transition in Croatia

Value Transformation, Education, and Media

Edited by Sabrina P. Ramet and Davorka Matic

Publication Year: 2007

With the fall of communism and the breakup of Yugoslavia, the successor states have faced a historic challenge to create separate, modern democracies from the ashes of the former authoritarian state. Central to the Croatian experience has been the issue of nationalism and whether the Croatian state should be defined as a citizens’ state (with members of all nationality groups treated as equal) or as a national state of the Croats (with a consequent privileging of Croatian culture and language, but also with a quota system for members of national minorities). Sabrina P. Ramet and Davorka Mati´c have gathered here a series of studies by important scholars to examine the development of Croatia in the aftermath of communism and the war that marred the transition. Sixteen scholars of the region discuss the values and institutions central to Croatia’s transformation from communism and toward liberal democracy. They discuss economic change, political parties, and the uses of history since 1989. To understand the patterns in Croatia, they examine how civic values have been expressed, reinforced, and sometimes challenged through religion, education, and the media. The implications of nationalism in its various manifestations are treated thematically in all the analyses. This book is a companion volume to a similar study on Slovenia, edited by Sabrina P. Ramet and Danica Fink-Hafner and released in fall 2006. Together, these two works form an important case study in comparison and contrast between two countries in the same region going through the transition from communism to liberal democracy. Scholars and policy makers will find a wealth of material in these two volumes.

Published by: Texas A&M University Press

title page

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CONTENTS

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pp. vii-viii

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PREFACE

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pp. ix-x

This book would not have been possible without the generosity of the Norwegian Research Council in providing funding for a conference held in Trondheim on 3–4 September 2004. We wish to acknowledge in particular the support of Professor Ola Listhaug and the work of Beata Eggan, who contributed to the success of the conference. We ...

CHRONOLOGY OF CROATIAN HISTORY

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pp. xi-xviii

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1. WHAT’S LOVE (OF COUNTRY) GOT TO DO WITH IT? Democratic Transition

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pp. 22-49

In spite of the four- year Homeland War, as Croats call it, Croatia has also had to resolve issues of economic transformation, political demonopolization, corruption at high levels, and crime, while reforming the educational system in a manner to foster liberal values. And as in other societies in the region, the question of a civic culture has been bound up ...

PART I. HISTORICAL CONTEXT

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2. CROATIA SINCE 1989: The HDZ and the Politics of Transition .

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pp. 31-62

The Hrvatska Demokratska Zajednica (HDZ, Croatian Democratic Union) has been a key player in Croatia’s journey from a republic in socialist Yugoslavia to an independent, democratic state on the threshold of joining the European Union. Founded in 1989, the party assumed a hegemonic role and dominated the political arena and ...

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3. REMEMBER VUKOVAR: Memory, Sense of Place, and the National Tradition in Croatia

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pp. 63-88

This story not only describes the transformation of once familiar places into unrecognizable and destroyed environments, or the shift from place to space, but also indicates the transformation of social identity and the making of a new beginning. This chapter aims to illustrate the identity construction of Vukovar’s citizens and the making of a new Croatian national ...

PART II. CIVIC VALUES AND RELIGION

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4. SUPPORT FOR DEMOCRACY AND STRENGTH OF CIVIC ATTITUDES: Croatia Compared with New and Old Democracies

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pp. 91-108

The success of the democratic transition in Croatia can be measured along many dimensions and judged by different criteria. One set of criteria is related to questions of how well the state and political leaders perform. This is the elite aspect of democratic transition. A democratic transition may also be judged on the basis of how strongly citizens ...

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5. POLITICAL VALUES AND ATTITUDES

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pp. 109-136

The democratic transition and consolidation of the Croatian social and political system cannot be understood without insight into certain political values and attitudes of the citizens. Those values and attitudes are an integral part of the political culture of the citizens, which in turn is related to the dynamics and the quality of the democratic ...

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6. RELIGION AND VALUES

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pp. 137-160

The shortage of data is the first and most obvious one. Research on this topic during the communist period was rare, and in the following years the situation became even worse, especially with regard to comparative research that would allow comparisons with other countries at different points in time. Even in cases in which such a comparison is possible, a methodological problem arises from the fact of ...

PART III. TEXTBOOKS, EDUCATION, AND MEDIA

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7. BETWEEN CIVIC IDENTITY AND NATIONALISM: History Textbooks in East-Central and Southeastern Europe

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pp. 163-192

The end of communism and the breakup of the Soviet empire meant as much fundamental change for education and textbooks as for the political system or the economy. The “revolutions” of the 1990s not only offered the former socialist states the opportunity for a revision of biased textbook narratives full of ideological stereotypes, for ...

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8.THE USE AND MISUSE OF HISTORY TEACHING IN 1990S CROATIA

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pp. 193-223

Originally this chapter was intended to deal with misuse of history in textbooks. However, we realized that this problem could not be comprehended within the framework of such a limited topic. It made us expand our presentation to some other fields that can be broadly defined as “history teaching,” including not only textbooks but also ...

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9. MEDIA AND CIVIC VALUES

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pp. 224-244

The role of the media in constructing our reality and setting our public agendas is a well known, if contested, part of media social theory. The expected role of media in contemporary democracies is alike in political theory and in actual political consensus. It includes the role of the media in democratic procedure, in which media activity in ...

PART IV. COMING TO TERMS WITH NATIONALISM

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10. THE BATTLE FOR CROATIA: Three Films by Vinko Brešan

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pp. 247-275

Given the numerous profound and rapid changes Croatia has been undergoing since the early nineties and up to the present, changes often perceived by citizens as being out of control, it is not a surprise to see the many ways in which the country and its citizens have continually tried to redefine who and what they actually are. Much ...

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11. WOMEN ON THE EDGE OF GENDER EQUALITY

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pp. 276-299

Since the 1990s Croatian society has undergone two important transitions, of which the impact on ideological values appeared in the shadow of political and economic changes. When we talk specifically about changes in the system of gender values, these dynamics could be summarized according to a division of transition between an ...

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12. CROATIA, REGIONAL COOPERATION, AND THE EU

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pp. 300-325

The principal assumption upon which this chapter is based is that a major priority for the Croatian leadership—whether under the Social Democratic Party or under the reformed Croatian Democratic Union—has remained to join the European Union as well as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Hence Croatia is certainly ...

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13. IS NATIONALISM REALLY THAT BAD? The Case of Croatia

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pp. 326-353

The last three decades have witnessed a growing interest in the phenomena of nationalism and national conflicts. Countless scholars from throughout the world have devoted significant time and energy in an effort to grasp the origin, nature, and consequences of nationalism and its relations to modern- day politics. It is hardly an exaggeration ...

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CONCLUSION: Building Liberal Democracy in Croatia

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pp. 354-378

The chapters included in this book have in different ways contributed to an understanding of Croatia’s democratic transition since 1990 and of the role played in that process by the transformation of political values. An important element of consolidating a liberal democracy is, obviously, the creation of formal institutions that promote the nature ...

CONTRIBUTORS

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pp. 379-386

INDEX

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pp. 387-411


E-ISBN-13: 9781603444521
E-ISBN-10: 1603444521
Print-ISBN-13: 9781585445875
Print-ISBN-10: 1585445878

Page Count: 432
Illustrations: 6 b&w photos. 21 tables. 14 graphs.
Publication Year: 2007

Series Title: Eugenia & Hugh M. Stewart '26 Series on Eastern Europe

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Subject Headings

  • Civil society -- Croatia.
  • Nationalism -- Croatia.
  • Democratization -- Croatia.
  • Croatia -- Politics and government -- 1990-.
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