This book examines how European issues have played out in Serbian and Croatian party politics since 2000, in the context of significant challenges brought by European integration of the Western Balkans. It provides a comprehensive analysis of how political parties in these countries have determined and shifted their positions on the EU, by exploring the effect and interaction of party ideology and strategy, position within the party system, relations with the general public and voters as well as transnational party linkages. The author argues that the particular nature of European issues, closely related to crucial identity and statehood dilemmas in these post-conflict societies, largely determined party stances on the EU, feeding significant Eurosceptic sentiments. At the same time, a number of core parties underwent a rapid pro-EU conversion, pragmatically responding to internal and external incentives in the context of dynamic electoral competition and strong EU presence, and aimed at maximising their chances of securing executive office. The book will be of interest to advanced students and scholars in the fields of comparative politics, Western Balkan politics, and EU studies.
Marko Stojic is Lecturer in the Department of International Relations and European Studies at Metropolitan University in Prague, Czech Republic. He holds a PhD in Contemporary European Studies from the University of Sussex. His research interests focus on the study of European integration, political parties in the Western Balkans and party-based Euroscepticism. He has published in Czech Journal of Political Science and Perspectives on European Politics and Society.
Chapter 1, Introduction: Political parties and Europe.- Chapter 2. Serbia, Croatia and the EU: A difficult role for latecomers.- Chapter 3. Ideology, identity and party responses to Europe.- Chapter 4.- The logic of party competition and party responses to Europe.- Chapter 5.- Party position in the party system and their responses to Europe.- Chapter 6. Public, voters and party responses to Europe.- Chapter 7. Transnational party politics and responses to Europe: From 'comfortable isolation' to Europeanization.- Chapter 8.- Conclusions: Transformation, opposition or defiance in the Western Balkans?.