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Stagnation and Drift in the Western Balkans

The Challenges of Political, Economic and Social Change

Series:

Claire Gordon, Marko Kmezic and Jasmina Opardija-Susnjar

This volume allows a new generation of scholars, from the Balkans and beyond, to shed light on some of the struggles the region faces. The combination of post-communist and post-conflict transition, together with the current economic and financial crisis, pose difficult challenges for the Western Balkans.
What is the state of democracy in the region? Are the countries of the Western Balkans stuck somewhere between authoritarianism and genuine democracy? What are the remaining obstacles to state building? What effect has the crisis had on young people in the Western Balkans?
These are some of the questions the authors of this volume seek to answer. The studies look at different countries and combine methods from various disciplines ranging from political science, history, economics and law to sociology, anthropology and cultural studies.

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Mina Petrovic and Jelisaveta Vukelic - The Transformation of the Governance Regime in Serbia: Public Participation in Environmental Decision Making - 93

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Mina Petrovic and Jelisaveta Vukelic The Transformation of the Governance Regime in Serbia: Public Participation in Environmental Decision Making Introduction This chapter focuses on the civil sector’s participation in environmen- tal decision making as a key issue in environmental governance in Serbia. A partnership between civil society and the public sector is regarded as an important precondition for the new environmental governance that should be developing with the country’s accession to the EU. This analysis researches the links needed between civil and state actors as well as among civil actors themselves. It is conceptually framed by regulation theory, concepts of social capital and partici- pative and transactional civic activism. It starts from the hypothesis that there is a weak state, with low trust in institutions and low social capital among civil actors, which diminish public participa- tion and the potential for environmental (transactional) activism in Serbia. This hypothesis stems from aspects of Serbia’s current situa- tion linked both to the enduring economic crisis and closed political opportunities. The chapter is informed by data from the RRPP Project ‘Public Participation in Environment Decision Making – the Case of Bor and Pancevo’, carried out in late 2010 and early 2011. It is useful to analyse the conditions for new environmental governance from the perspective of regulation theory because this postulates a shift from government to governance regimes (in terms of ideal types) as a general phenomenon of late modern societies. The shift refers to the increased engagement or participation of other nonstate actors...

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