Working class in post-socialist transformation: Serbia and Croatia compared

Mladen Lazic, Slobodan Cvejic


Serbia and Croatia, both actors in civil wars during the 1990s, started their transformation by emerging from the same model of "liberal socialism". The two countries had authoritarian regimes with nationalistic mobilization, and their respective transformations developed under the control of their political oligarchies. In addition to many similarities, there are also important differences which influenced their transformations. Croatia embarked upon its modernization earlier than Serbia, and was more developed economically. In contrast to Serbia, which suffered international political and economic isolation during the 1990s, Croatia enjoyed external support (making it more susceptible to external influences, to some extent) and moreover, was more opened to the world economically. This resulted in a faster economic recovery for Croatia, and accounts for the country's substantially more favorable position in the EU integration processes. Based on joint research carried out in 1989 and 2003, this paper tries to establish the degree of influence of the stated similarities and differences on changes in position of the working class in these countries, and moreover, on class homogeneity (measured in terms of economic differentiation, vertical mobility, value orientations, and trade union and political organization).

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ISSN: 2062-087X

DOI: 10.14267/issn.2062-087X