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On the ‘right’ side? The Radical Right in the Post-Yugoslav Area and the Serbian case


FascismJournal abstract

The political transformation in the former Yugoslavia during the 1990s was marked by the establishment of a nationalist political mainstream. As a consequence of the Yugoslav wars, nationalism gained broad acceptance in most post-Yugoslav societies. This led to the emergence of many radical right groups, the majority of which support the nationalist policies of the Yugoslav successor states. Since the regime changes in most post-Yugoslav states around the year 2000, the nationalist paradigm has shifted towards a new mainstream, combining the promise of EU accession with neoliberal economic reforms, and slowly abandoning nationalism as a means of political mobilization/demobilization. The radical right groups in the post-Yugoslav area were generally on the right side during the 1990s, but they now face marginalization and even prosecution by state authorities. When pushed to the edge of the political field, however, these groups reorganize themselves. At the same time, several developments are fostering their existence and activities, namely the discursive normalization of nationalism, an unchallenged nationalist revisionism of history, and the reluctance of large parts of society to deal critically with the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s. Finally, due to the lack of strong left-wing parties and organizations, the radical right groups represent the only political alternative to the new pro-European mainstream. This article looks at the formation and development of radical right groups in the post-Yugoslav area, and situates this in the political context of the last two decades.

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