"Sabrina Ramet and Davorka Matic's Democratic Transition in Croatia is a fascinating collection of essays by both eminent specialists and promising younger scholars. It will be required reading for all those interested in recent Croatian history, as well as in the question of democratic transition throughout the former-Communist world." - Marko Attila Hoare, Senior Research Fellow, University of Kingston"
With the fall of communism and the breakup of Yugoslavia, the successor states have faced a historic challenge to create separate, modern democracies from the ashes of the former authoritarian state. Central to the Croatian experience has been the issue of nationalism and whether the Croatian state should be defined as a citizens' state (with members of all nationality groups treated as equal) or as a national state of the Croats (with a consequent privileging of Croatian culture and language, but also with a quota system for members of national minorities). Sabrina P. Ramet and Davorka Matic have gathered here a series of studies by important scholars to examine the development of Croatia in the aftermath of communism and the war that marred the transition. Sixteen scholars of the region discuss the values and institutions central to Croatia's transformation from communism and toward liberal democracy. They discuss economic change, political parties, and the uses of history since 1989. To understand the patterns in Croatia, they examine how civic values have been expressed, reinforced, and sometimes challenged through religion, education, and the media.
The implications of nationalism in its various manifestations are treated thematically in all the analyses. This book is a companion volume to a similar study on Slovenia, edited by Sabrina P. Ramet and Danica Fink-Hafner and released in fall 2006. Together, these two works form an important case study in comparison and contrast between two countries in the same region going through the transition from communism to liberal democracy. Scholars and policy makers will find a wealth of material in these two volumes.