Sociologist and professor at the University College London (UCL), Eric Gordy claims that the people and parties who bear the “heavy burden of complicity” in the wars from the 1990s in Yugoslavia hold the biggest political power in Serbia today, which is one of the reasons why the process of facing the past has been stagnating and why people from ex-Yugoslavia are still looking for “justification of wars.”
One of the most important limitations in the post-conflict justice process is, in his words, “institutions that are fragile and non-autonomous”.
“As a result, we see that institutions, which bear the greatest responsibility for dialogue and understanding in society in the sphere of education, religion, culture, are abandoning the public space. Institutions live in fear, they are condescending, and they continue to repeat the rhetoric that has become official in the time of violence “, Gordy said in an interview for the website Autonomija.info.
He added that the period between 2000 and 2005 was the time of great opportunities to make decisive progress and progress, but that the period eventually passed “without fundamental change taking place”.
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“It is difficult to say when and if this opportunity will be re-created, while at the same time, the efforts to bring on democracy, openness and cooperation have failed. The change of the regime in 2000 is not only characterized by the lack of progress and broad support, but it also had negative consequences to the elimination of corruption and clientelism, debt increase, and the monopoly of political parties uin the expropriation of public resources,” Gordy argues.
According to him, for the authorities who entered the political scene in early 2000, disclosing the facts about the war and punishing the culprits was “a job that was too big, too complex and very dangerous”.
“But they were not completely democratic, nor completely ideologically different from their predecessors, as they were not sure of their own legitimacy. Subsequently, and they handed their work over to foreigners,” Gordy explained.
He added that, at that time, the politicians stuck to the very basic formula of politicians when it came to taking responsibility for the war and war crimes – “We are afraid to condemn our criminals and reveal the facts. This will be done by the Hague Tribunal on our behalf, but we are also afraid of what the Hague Tribunal will conclude. At the same time, we will present the Tribunal as an enemy, deny the facts and try to discredit it. “
The result of all this is that the facts have never reached the public, Gordy said, adding that that the relationship between Serbia and Kosovo is a part of that whole process and, and that the change of the rhetoric related to this issue can seen in “the reporting of pro-regime tabloids” in Serbia.
“We will know that the agreement between Serbia and Kosovo is close when the tabloids turn against the Church and (the president of the Republic of Srpska) Milorad Dodik,” Gorid added.
(Nova Ekonomija, 06.08.2018)
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