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(Too) High Expectations of Democracy in Serbia? Interpretation of Empirical Research Results

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Ana Hofman, Guest Editor

The paper presents the findings of a public opinion survey and a focus group study on the attitude of Serbian citizens towards democracy, which were conducted in 2010 within the project “Democracy in unstable social spaces – Serbia,” jointly done by the University of Vienna, the Vienna-based Institute for the Danube Area and Central Europe and the Institute of Social Sciences in Belgrade. The opinion survey identified deep dissatisfaction of citizens with the general situation in their society, their negative assessments of the actual performance of democracy in Serbia, low confidence in key political institutions, and diminishing willingness for activism and participation in political activities. The focus group study revealed that citizens have high expectations of democracy but remain passive in building the young democratic system of Serbia because neither the political, work nor social environments stimulate them for civic engagement. The paper concludes that a majority of citizens do not expect incentives for progress from within the system but rather expect them from outside, though they differ in views on where these incentives should come from.

Affiliations: 1: Institute of Social Sciences, Belgrade


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