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Stateness and Democratic Consolidation: Lessons from Former Yugoslavia

With respect to the relationship between the state and democracy, the scholarly research thus far has mainly oscillated between two perspectives: “no state, no democracy” vs. “no democracy, no state”. Using the example of former Yugoslav republics, I offer an alternative approach. Contrary to the “no state, no democracy” perspective, Filip Milačić (Senior Researcher for Democracy and Society, Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, Vienna) argues that an unresolved stateness problem does not necessarily prevent the emergence of a democracy. However, it could slow down or halt its consolidation and even facilitate democratic backsliding, which are concerns that the “no democracy, no state” perspective seems to be neglecting.

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