European Union Agenda in Serbia’s Party Politics: A Clash between Rationality and Identity Politics

by Önder Canveren and Müge Aknur,

This article argues that “identity politics” determines party positions and political orientations towards the EU agenda in Serbian party politics. In its attempt to analyse the underlying reasons and legitimation strategies of the Serbian parties towards the EU agenda, the research employs a thematic content analysis of documents of eight leading political parties. The analysis finds that the current political conjecture in Belgrade has created schisms in the political arena by focusing on changing orientations in between old/new and identity/rationality. As a result of this analysis the article comes up with three main conclusions: (i) Pro-Europeanism is instrumentalized as a strategic-rational foreign policy orientation for the process of constructing a “new” Serbia, while excluding any normative perspective. (ii) For domestic motivations, pro-European opposition parties instrumentalize EU agenda as a way of targeting the government. (iii) Conversely, hard-Eurosceptic parties frame the EU as the other and/or enemy, due to the 1999 NATO bombardment and also EU member states’ recognition of Kosovo’s independence.

published in Vol 20 - No 1 -2020 // General issue

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Indexed in:

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    (ISI Thomson Reuters)
  • IPSA

Advisory Board

  • Alina Mungiu-Pippidi (chair) Hertie School of Governance
  • Larry Diamond Stanford University
  • Tom Gallagher University of Bradford
  • Alena Ledeneva University College London
  • Michael McFaul Stanford University
  • Dennis Deletant Georgetown University
  • Helen Wallace London School of Economics and Political Science

Editorial Board

  • Claudiu Tufiș
  • Bogdan Iancu
  • George Jiglau
  • Ingi Iusmen
  • Gabriel Bădescu
  • Andrei Macsut
  • Laura Voinea

Published by:

Societatea Academica Romana