by Jelena Vasiljević, Gazela Pudar Draško, Irena Fiket, Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory, University of Belgrade
This paper is based on the empirical research of new social movements and protest culture in two Western Balkans countries, conducted during the summer of 2018. The principle research aim was to map emancipatory potential of grass-root movements in the Western Balkans, by initially focusing on Serbia – a country where political movements are perceived to be weak, in terms of influencing political developments – and FYROM – where recent democratizing developments were highly influenced by various citizen-led movements. Our general goal is to compare similarities and differences between movements, within and across two country case studies, in order to better understand potentials of bottom-up movements to influence political orders and developments in this part of Europe. In this paper, our focus is particularly on the analysed movements’ orientations towards, and evaluation of, foreign actors and powers. We hope that these results, together with the further findings of our on-going research, could serve as guiding lines in drafting new approaches to strengthening civic engagement in the Western Balkans.