Fink Hafner, D. – Pejanović, M. (eds.): Razvoj političkog pluralizma u Sloveniji i Bosni i Hercegovini. [The Development of Political Pluralism in Slovenia and Bosnia and Herzegovina]. Ljubljana – Sarajevo: Fakulteta za družbene vede, 2006, 231pages.
The editors of the book, Danica Fink Hafner and Mirko Pejanović, offer an analysis of the development of political pluralism in two quite distinct post-Yugoslav states – Slovenia and Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). Four main theses are laid out in the book: 1) Research into political pluralism in Slovenia and Bosnia and Herzegovina is closely tied to research into the transition. 2) The (non-)existence of the war is the key determinant for the transition (dis)continuity and, therefore, for the success of the democracy. 3) Pre-socialist history is reflected in the party systems of the 1990s. 4) The ethnic principle underlying party organization and the party system stands in the opposition to liberal-democratic ideals (pp 13-14).
The book is divided into eight different chapters, including an introduction in which the authors clearly state their aim, their key thesis, their sources and which concludes with a summary of the outcome of the analysis. The first chapter, written by Fink Hafner, analyses the structure and characteristics of the development of political pluralism in Slovenia in 1989–2004. Hafner first sets up the theoretical framework she is working with and then goes to the roots of the development of the party system in Slovenia. The second chapter, written by Mirko Pejanović, gets deeply into the development of political pluralism in BiH. The author analyses the party system and then critically assesses the role of the international community (p. 67). Pejanović criticizes the international community (IC) for identification with ethno-nationalism, thereby contributing to the agony of BiH. However, the author does not offer any other option for the IC, whether it be the banning of political parties based on ethnic identification or something else. Rather strange, as well, is the beginning of the text in which Pejanović gives census numbers only for the period before the war but no estimate of the number of inhabitants after its conclusion. It is very much open to dispute to include the citation by Filipović, who concludes that 255,078 inhabitants identifying themselves in the census as OTHERS with MUSLIM BELIEFS are therefore Bošnjaks.
The third chapter by Danica Fink Hafner and Alenka Krašovec begins with the theoretical framework of Lipset and Rokkan and tries to determine the main cleavages in Slovenia. The conclusions are well argued and the whole chapter is a brilliant analysis of party roots in Slovenia. The fourth chapter written by Nerzuk Ćurak is very distinctive from the others. It is much more a philosophical essay than an academic text using the empirical-analytical method the others employ. The author makes some very strong statements, e.g. Social paradox par excellence took place when the SFRY dissolved in the primordial violence governed by the power of Polemos, the Daemon of War, who entrusted Slobodan Milosevic and the reversionary Serbian nationalistic right and national socialist left with the violence. (p. 106) The text stands out and does not really fit into the overall framework of the book, even if it does give an interesting view on BiH political development.
The fifth chapter analyses the electoral system and its impact on the party system in BiH, while the next chapter analyses the impact of electoral systems on the party systems in the all ex-Yugoslav republics. The authors very often cite one of the best Serbian social scientists specializing in the Serbian and Montenegrin party arena, Vladimir Goati, and both texts are accompanied by tables offering insightful analysis of the electoral systems in the region. The conclusion makes a couple of final remarks and assessments of the overall political situation in Slovenia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
To conclude, the monograph Razvoj političkog pluralizma u Sloveniji i Bosni i Herzegovini is an excellent follow-up to the research project. Anyone dealing with the ex-Yugoslav region should have this book in his/her personal library. The authors of the project, Danica Fink Hafner and Mirko Pejanović, have done a great job and should be applauded.
Poznámky / Notes
Author works at the Institute for Comparative Political Research and the Department of Political Science, Faculty of Social Studies of Masaryk University, Joštova 10, 602 00 Brno; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.