On April 27, masked nationalists stormed the Macedonian parliament, injuring Social Democratic Party leader Zoran Zaev, among many others.
It wasn’t an isolated incident in the Western Balkans, a region that comprises Albania and the former Yugoslav countries of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia. Twenty-five years after the fall of communism, Western Balkan countries have become halfway democracies and the region struggles with ethnic, religious and nationalist tensions.
Here are three main issues that can explain the political crisis in these countries:
1) Why didn’t democracy deliver healthy political competition in the Balkans?
The opposition center-right parties that rose to power after the fall of communism in the early 1990s have dominated political life — first as nationalist parties in the former Yugoslav Republics, but later as advocates of pro-Western values, including membership in the European Union and cooperation with the international community.… Seguir leyendo »