Protests in the Balkans: Do they have an impact?

Balkans protesters

Protests in the Balkans: Do they have an impact?

Wednesday, 10 March 2021 - 5:00pm
Zoom webinar
Danijela Dolenec (University of Zagreb)
Chiara Milan (Scuola Normale Superiore (Italy))
Julia Rone (Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH), University of Cambridge)
Daniel Smilov (University of Sofia)
Othon Anastasakis (SEESOX); Jessie Barton Hronesova (Oxford Department of International Development.)
Othon Anastasakis (St Antony’s College, Oxford) and Jessie Barton Hronesova (Oxford)

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Throughout the last years all the states in South East Europe at some point or another experienced mass protests and rallies some of which had a severe impact on the stability of the political systems and even led to the fall of governments. The panellists will be discussing the importance of protests, social movements and broader public discontent as reactions to state incompetence, authoritarianism, elite corruption, neoliberal state building or the handling of crises, from a regional and comparative country perspectives.

Danijela Dolenec is an Associate Professor with the Faculty of Political Science at the University of Zagreb where she teaches comparative politics, protest movements and social science methodology. She is also the principal investigator on the project Disobedient Democracy. She received her first master degree in public policy from the LSE (MSc 2005), the second master degree in European studies (FPZG 2007) and her doctorate at ETH Zürich (PhD 2012), under the supervision of Frank Schimmelfennig. As part of her doctorate, Danijela studied at Harvard University as a Fulbright Scholar (2007/8). Her primary research interest is the crisis of representative democracy in Europe, explored from the perspective of mass politics and challenges to conventional political institutions. Her previous work focused on the democratization of post-socialist countries. Her book Democratic Institutions and Authoritarian Rule in Southeast Europe (ECPR, 2013), received the National Science Award in 2013.

Chiara Milan is Research Fellow at the Faculty of Political and Social Sciences, Scuola Normale Superiore (Italy), where she coordinates the Jean Monnet Network “Transnational Political Contention in Europe” (TraPoCo) and where she is member of the research group COSMOS - Center on Social Movement Studies.  Prior to that she was a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellow at the Center for Southeast European Studies, University of Graz (Austria) where she led the research project “Reclaiming the cities in the post-Yugoslav space” (ReCitYu). She holds a Ph.D. in Social and Political Sciences from the European University Institute. Her research interests include social movements and civic activism, nationalism, citizenship, ethnicity, migration and youth activism, with a particular focus on Southeastern Europe. She has published several articles in international journals and chapters in edited volumes. She is the author of the book Social Mobilization Beyond Ethnicity. Grassroots Movements and Civic Activism in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Routledge, 2020). She regularly contributes to media outlets commenting on Balkan politics and society.

Julia Rone is a postdoctoral researcher at the Minderoo Centre for Technology and Democracy at CRASSH, Cambridge. She has a PhD from the European University Institute in Florence with a thesis on mobilizations against free trade agreements. Julia has taught at the University of Florence, the University of Sofia, the University of Cambridge and the Heinrich Heine University in Düsseldorf. Julia's current research explores techno-politics and debates around digital sovereignty. Previously, she was a Wiener-Asnpach fellow studying contestations over sovereignty in the UK, Poland and Belgium. She has written on hacktivism, digital disobedience, and more recently,  the rise of far right media in Europe. She has also taken part in the COSMOS project "Mobilizing for Democracy" under the supervision of Donatella Della Porta.

Daniel Smilov is a comparative constitutional lawyer and political scientist. He is Associate Professor of Political Theory at the Political Science Department, University of Sofia; Programme Director at the Centre for Liberal Strategies, Sofia, and Recurrent Visiting Professor of Comparative Constitutional Law at the Central European University, Budapest. He holds doctorates from the University of Oxford (DPhil, 2003) and the Central European University, Budapest (SJD, 1999). Daniel Smilov is co-author (with Martin Tisne) of From the Ground Up: Assessing the Record of Anticorruption Assistance in Southeast Europe, Central European University Press, 2004, co-editor (with Denis Galligan) of Administrative Law in Central and Eastern Europe, CEU Press, 1999, and co-editor (together with Jurij Toplak) of Political Finance and Corruption in Eastern Europe, Ashgate, 2007. He has published many articles and chapters in books on the topics of populism, comparative constitutionalism, and party politics.

Chair: Othon Anastasakis (SEESOX) is a Senior Research Fellow at St Antony’s College; an Associate at the Department of Politics and International Relations; an Affiliate of the Centre for International Studies; an Affiliate of the Oxford School of Global and Area Studies (OSGA); and former Director of the European Studies Centre, St Antony's College, Oxford (July 2012-October 2015). He teaches “South East European politics and European integration” for the OSGA and “EU politics” for the Department of Continuing Education, Oxford. He is the Principal Investigator of two research projects: “Greek Diaspora Project at SEESOX”; and the Oxford/Berlin funded “Migration Diplomacy and Turkey-EU relations”. He is also an Adjunct Professor at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada; Region Head of Europe in Oxford Analytica. His research interests are Balkan comparative politics, global and regional geopolitics, transition and democratisation in Southern and South Eastern Europe, Greek foreign policy, Greek-Turkish relations, European populism and extreme right, Russia in South East Europe, Greek and South East European diaspora, Turkey and the EU, Turkish foreign policy in the Balkans, EU’s enlargement.

Chair: Jessie Barton Hronesova is an ESRC Postdoctoral Research Fellow with the Oxford Department of International Development. Her current ESRC research project deals with the politics of victimhood and compensation in post-war Bosnia and Herzegovina. In her research she has mostly focused on security, ethno-nationalism, post-war reparations, as well as community-building and transitional justice in the former Yugoslavia. She has authored several studies on identity politics (including Post-War Ethno-National Identities of Young People in Bosnia and Herzegovina, 2012) and retributive transitional justice in several academic journals (most recent for the Journal of Peacebuilding & Development). Prior to her doctoral studies, Jessie worked at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network in Sarajevo and Belgrade. She has also worked as an advisor for several consultancies and is a member of the Stabilization Unit of the UK government. She has also collaborated with a range of research institutions, including the Czech Academy of Sciences, the London School of Economics and Goldsmiths University where she is currently teaching a course on memory and justice. Jessie holds a DPhil from the University of Oxford in politics (St Antony’s College, 2017).