The Social Movement for Truth and Justice – Pragmatic Alliance-building with Political Parties in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Authors

  • Valida Repovac Nikšić University of Sarajevo, Department of Sociology, Faculty of Political Sciences
  • Jasmin Hasanović University of Sarajevo, Department of Political Science, Faculty of Political Sciences
  • Emina Adilović University of Sarajevo, Institute for Social Science Research, Faculty of Political Sciences
  • Damir Kapidžić University of Sarajevo, Department of Political Science, Faculty of Political Sciences

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.2298/FID2201143R

Keywords:

accountability, autocratization, democratic backsliding, democratic innovation, illiberal politics, justice, “Justice for Dženan” Movement, social movements, pragmatic symbiosis

Abstract

Protests among citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina are becoming more frequent. Most often, their aim is to decry the dysfunctionality and opacity of the government, which are the result of the ethno-political structure created by the Dayton Agreement, but also a trend towards democratic regression and autocracy. A number of authors have tackled the “JMBG” protests of 2013 and the Plenums that emerged from the February 2014 protests, from their particular disciplines. The focus of this paper is the social movement “Justice for Dženan,” organized by the Memić family upon the tragic death of Dženan Memić in Sarajevo in February 2016. An in-depth study was conducted with key actors of the movement, as well as those who follow or in some way support the protests. Particular emphasis in the research was paid to the pragmatic symbiosis of the social movement and one political party. We argue that it is possible to identify a pragmatic symbiosis as a novel form (democratic innovation) of socio-political cooperation that can impede rising autocratization. Through the quest for accountability, social movements are introducing new strategic practices of mobilization and a novel type of alliance-building with external factors (new political parties as well as other social movements). The goal of the paper is to explore how the social movement “Justice for Dženan” interacts with political parties and approach the political sphere in BiH. Also, the idea is to examine the possibilities and functionality of this kind of cooperation with the framework of contentious politics. 

References

Almeida, Paul (2010), “Social Movement Partyism: Collective Action and Political Parties”, in Nella Van Dyke, McCammon J. Holly (eds.), Strategic Alliances: Coalition Building and Social Movements, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, pp. 170–196.

Bermeo, Nancy (2016), “On Democratic Backsliding”, Journal of Democracy 27 (1): 5–19.

Bieber, Florian (2020), The Rise of Authoritarianism in the Western Balkans, Cham: Palgrave Macmillan.

Bieber, Florian; Brentin, Dario (eds.) (2018), Social Movements in the Balkans: Rebellion and Protest from Maribor to Taksim, London: Routledge.

Bose, Sumantra (2002), Bosnia after Dayton. Nationalist Partition and International Intervention, New York: Oxford University Press.

della Porta, Donatella (2015), Social Movements in Times of Austerity, Cambridge: Polity Press.

della Porta, Donatella; Fernandez, Joseba; Kouki, Hara; Mosca, Lorenzo (2017), Movement Parties against Austerity, Cambridge: Polity Press.

Diani, Mario (1992), “The Concept of Social Movement”, The Sociological Review 40 (1): 1–25.

Dolenec, Daniela (2013), Democratic Institutions and Authoritarian Rule in Southeast Europe, Colchester, UK: ECPR Press.

Džananović, Nedžma; Repovac Nikšić, Valida (2020), “Populism in Bosnia and Herzegovina – Horizontal Traditions and Vertical Novelties”, in Agnieszka Stępińska (ed.), Populist Political Communication across Europe: Contexts and Contents, Berlin: Peter Lang, pp. 15–36.

Expert Report on Rule of Law issues in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brussels, 5 December 2019. available at: ExpertReportonRuleofLawissuesinBosniaandHerzegovina.pdf (europa.ba) (viewed: 27/12/2021)

Fiket, Irena; Đorđević, Biljana (2022), “Promises and Challenges of Deliberative and Participatory Innovations in Hybrid Regimes: The Case of Two Citizens’ Assemblies in Serbia”, Philosophy and Society 33 (1): 3–25.

Fagan, Adam; Sircar, Indraneel (2017), “Activist citizenship in Southeast Europe”, Europe-Asia Studies 69 (9): 1337–1345.

Günay, Cengiz; Džihić, Vedran (2016), “Decoding the Authoritarian Code: Exercising ‘Legitimate’ Power Politics through the Ruling Parties in Turkey, Macedonia and Serbia”, Southeast European and Black Sea Studies 16 (4): 529–549.

Hasanović, Jasmin (2020), „Dijalektika etnodeterminizma: Biopolitičko konstruiranje narativa otpora“, Politička misao 57 (1): 26–46.

Hasanović, Jasmin; Adilović, Emina (2021), “The Double Life of Virtual: Emancipation as Immobilization in an Isolated Age”, in Şefika Şule Erçetin, Şuay Nilhan Açıkalın, Emir Vajzović (eds.), Chaos, Complexity and Leadership 2020, pp. 63–86.

Hutter, Swen; Kriesi, Hanspeter; Lorenzini, Jasmine (2019), “Social Movements Interactions with Political Parties”, in David Snow, Sarah Soule, Hanspeter Kriesi, Holly McCammon (eds.), The Blackwell companion to social movements, Oxford, UK: Wiley, pp. 322–337.

Jansen, Stef (2018), „(Ne)događaji u Daytonskom međuvremenu“, in Nerzuk Ćurak, Judith Brand (eds.), Politike izgradnje mira u regionu: opterećenja prošlosti i vizije budućnosti, Sarajevo: Fakultet političkih nauka and forum ZFD, pp. 159–173.

Kapidžić, Damir (2020a), “The Rise of Illiberal Politics in Southeast Europe”, Southeast European and Black Sea Studies 20 (1): 1–17.

—. (2020b), “Subnational Competitive Authoritarianism and Power-sharing in Bosnia and Herzegovina”, Southeast European and Black Sea Studies 20 (1): 81–101.

Kapidžić, Damir; Stojarová, Vera (eds.) (2022), Illiberal Politics in Southeast Europe: How Ruling Elites Undermine Democracy, London: Routledge.

Keil, Soeren (2018), “The Business of State Capture and the Rise of Authoritarianism in Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia”, Southeastern Europe 42 (1): 59–82.

Kitschelt, Herbert (2006), “Movement Parties”, in Richard S. Katz, William Crotty (eds.), Handbook of Party Politics, London: Sage, pp. 278–290.

Kriesi, Hanspeter; Grande, Edgar; Dolezal, Martin; et al. (2012), Political Conflict in Western Europe, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Kurtović, Larisa (2018), “Conjuring ‘the People’: The 2013 Babylution Protests and Desire for Political Transformation in Postwar Bosnia-Herzegovina”, Focaal 2018 (80): 43–62.

Kurtović, Larisa; Hromadžić, Azra (2017), “Cannibal States, Empty Bellies: Protest, History and Political Imagination in Post-Dayton Bosnia”, Critique of Anthropology 37 (3): 262–296.

Lai, Daniela (2019), “Practicing Solidarity: ‘Reconciliation’ and Bosnian Protest Movements”, Ethnopolitics (online): 168–187.

Lührmann, Anna; Mechkova, Valeriya; Dahlum, Sirianne; Maxwell, Laura; Olin, Moa; Sanhueza Petrarca, Constanza; Sigman, Rachel; Wilson, Matthew C.; Lindberg, Staffan (2018), “State of the World 2017: Autocratization and Exclusion?”, Democratization 25 (8): 1321–1340.

Milan, Chiara (2017), “Reshaping Citizenship through Collective Action: Performative and Prefigurative Practices in the 2013–2014 Cycle of Contention in Bosnia & Hercegovina”, Europe-Asia Studies 69: 1346–1361.

—. (2021), “Navigating Ethnicity: Collective Identities and Movement Framing in Deeply Divided Societies”, Nationalities Papers: 1–14.

McAdam, Doug; Tarrow, Sidney (2010), “Ballots and Barricades: On the Reciprocal Relationship Between Elections and Social Movements”, Perspectives on Politics 8 (2): 529–542.

Mouffe, Chantal (2019), Za levi populizam, Novi Sad: Mediterran Publishing.

Mujkić, Asim (2016), “Bosnian Days of Reckoning: Review of the Sequence of Protests in Bosnia and Herzegovina 2013–14, and Future Prospects of Resistance”, Southeastern Europe 40 (2016): 217–242.

Murtagh, Cera (2016), “Civic Mobilization in Divided Societies and the Perils of Political Engagement: Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Protest and Plenum Movement”, Nationalism and Ethnic Politics 22 (2): 149–171.

Pudar-Draško, Gazela; Fiket, Irena; Vasiljević, Jelena (2020), “Big Dreams and Small Steps: Comparative Perspectives on the Social Movement Struggle for Democracy in Serbia and North Macedonia”, Southeast European and Black Sea Studies 20 (1): 199–219.

Puljek-Shank, Randall; Fritsch, Felix (2019), “Activism in Bosnia-Herzegovina: Struggles against Dual Hegemony and the Emergence of ‘Local First’”, East European Politics and Societies 33 (1): 135–156.

Zakošek, Nenad (1997), „Pravna država i demokracija u postsocijalizmu“, Politička misao 34 (4): 78–85.

Zarić, Zona; Mladenović, Ivica (2021), “The Pandemic: A Breeding Ground for Authoritarian Power Grabs”, Glasnik Etnografskog instituta SANU 63 (3): 609–623.

Published

2022-03-31

How to Cite

Repovac Nikšić, V., Hasanović, J., Adilović, E. and Kapidžić, D. (2022) “The Social Movement for Truth and Justice – Pragmatic Alliance-building with Political Parties in Bosnia and Herzegovina”, Filozofija i društvo/Philosophy and Society. Belgrade, Serbia, 33(1), pp. 143–161. doi: 10.2298/FID2201143R.

Issue

Section

PARTICIPATORY INNOVATIONS IN HYBRID REGIMES