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Serbia's Anti-Bureaucratic Revolution as Manipulation? A Cultural Alternative to the Elite-Centric Approach

  • Marko Grdešić (a1)
Abstract

Why did nationalism and socialism combine during Serbia's “anti-bureaucratic revolution”? This article critiques the elite-centric approach prevalent in the literature and suggests a cultural argument instead. Three interconnected “elective affinities” brought nationalism and socialism together and separated them from a weak liberal alternative: (1) the emergence of bureaucracy as a “floating signifier”; (2) the search for enemies and a predilection for conspiracy theories; and (3) anti-intellectualism with special emphasis on the search for “one truth.” The elite-centric approach is assessed by looking at actors who, if the thesis is correct, should have been the least likely adopters of nationalist ideas.

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Corresponding author
grdesic@wisc.edu
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