Democratic Transition in Croatia
Value Transformation, Education, and Media
Political Science
6 x 9, 432 pp.
6 b&w photos., 21 tables., 14 graphs.
Pub Date: 06/18/2007
Eugenia & Hugh M. Stewart '26 Series
Price:        $35.00 s


Published by Texas A&M University Press

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Democratic Transition in Croatia

Value Transformation, Education, and Media

Edited by Sabrina P. Ramet and Davorka Matic

With the fall of communism and the breakup of Yugoslavia, the successor states have faced a historic challenge to create separate, modern democracies from the ashes of the former authoritarian state. Central to the Croatian experience has been the issue of nationalism and whether the Croatian state should be defined as a citizens’ state (with members of all nationality groups treated as equal) or as a national state of the Croats (with a consequent privileging of Croatian culture and language, but also with a quota system for members of national minorities). Sabrina P. Ramet and Davorka Mati´c have gathered here a series of studies by important scholars to examine the development of Croatia in the aftermath of communism and the war that marred the transition.

Sixteen scholars of the region discuss the values and institutions central to Croatia’s transformation from communism and toward liberal democracy. They discuss economic change, political parties, and the uses of history since 1989. To understand the patterns in Croatia, they examine how civic values have been expressed, reinforced, and sometimes challenged through religion, education, and the media. The implications of nationalism in its various manifestations are treated thematically in all the analyses.

This book is a companion volume to a similar study on Slovenia, edited by Sabrina P. Ramet and Danica Fink-Hafner and released in fall 2006. Together, these two works form an important case study in comparison and contrast between two countries in the same region going through the transition from communism to liberal democracy. Scholars and policy makers will find a wealth of material in these two volumes.

SABRINA P. RAMET is a professor of political science at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. She has served as visiting scholar at the Center for Eurasian, Russian, and Eastern European Studies, Georgetown University. Holding a Ph.D. from UCLA, she is the author of many books and articles.DAVORKA MATIc´ is head of the department of sociology at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb, Croatia. She was president of the Croatian Sociological Association. She received her Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Zagreb in 1998 and is the author of one book and many articles.

What Readers Are Saying:

". . . an engaging volume, a much-needed look at Croatian society and politics, and a significant contribution to our understanding of that fascinating society." -Slavic Review

“There’s much to like in these excellent . . . essays. Essays range wildly and happily are not confined to the purely political . . . A strong feature is the focus on values and texture of civil society, e.g., popular attitudes, religion, collective memory, textbooks, film, and women. For those who (like this reviewer) tend still to see Croatia through the lens of Tudjman and the U.S., the essays are an enjoyable corrective. Crnkovie welcome (in an essay on film) “the values of humanity and laughter . . . allegiance to humanistic values.” --Choice

“The book remains a comprehensive volume which covers many aspects of the democratic transition . . . . it would make a worthy addition to libraries and reading lists which deal with the transitional politics of Central and South Eastern Europe.” --Europe-Asia Studies

“The book will satisfy the most demanding reader in terms of its quality and coverage . . . will provide a valuable tool for comparative studies for nationalism and democracy in emerging countries in general. . . The sophisticated scholarly approach of the subject on a multidisciplinary bases sets this collective work apart from other studies of political change and nationalism in Croatia.” --Norman Cigar, Marine Command & Staff College

“Sabrina Ramet’s and Davorka Matic’s Democratic Transition in Croatia is a fascinating collection of essays by both eminent specialists and promising younger scholars. It will be required reading for all those interested in recent Croatian history, as well as in the question of democratic transition throughout the former-Communist world.” --Marko Attila Hoare, Senior Research Fellow, University of Kingston


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