Serbia's protracted transition under state-led and neoliberal models of capitalist development (1988-2008)

Musić, Goran
The transition to capitalism in Serbia proved to be a particularly stretched-out process extending over two decades. This paper argues that the Serbian socio-economic development since the late 1980s cannot be viewed through positivist interpretations of a straightforward path towards the ultimate goal of liberal democracy, but an open-ended historical transformation conditioned by the specific institutions built under self-management socialism, the relations of power between the former party bureaucracy and the working class, as well as Serbia’s semi-peripheral position in the global capitalist system. The paper will summarize the main dynamics of Yugoslav self-management socialism; explain Serbia’s peculiar first stage of pro-market transformation steered by a faction of the former communist elite during 1990s and finally describe the changes in transitional policies taking place after the adoption of neo-liberal model in 2000. The paper concludes that both models brought similar results and calls for social scientists to break with the dominant paradigms of modernization and open new vistas of social development.


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Citation Formats
G. Musić, “Serbia’s protracted transition under state-led and neoliberal models of capitalist development (1988-2008),” ODTÜ Gelişme Dergisi, vol. 41, no. 3, pp. 371–388, 2014, Accessed: 00, 2020. [Online]. Available: