Recent electoral outcomes have challenged the notion that elections in the Balkans are not able to bring about change. How has the public responded? It is argued that, in spite of the manifest obstacles for challengers to prevail over incumbents, public opinion is contingent upon the recent experiences in each country. Once shown the way, and in spite of a long period of stasis (or even state capture), citizens start believing that change is possible. The findings of the brief indicate that, in relation to electoral participation, the ‘collective action’ problem in the Balkans – characterised as lack of confidence in the possibility of change, leading to disillusionment with the democratic process and individual unwillingness to act to bring about change – might not be as difficult to break as previous research had indicated.
Policy Brief: No longer voting for the devil you know? Why the Balkans’ collective action problem might be easier to break than we think
1 January, 2021