Tracing Causal Mechanisms in Social Movement Research in Southeast Europe: The Cases of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Macedonia – Evidence from the “Bosnian Spring” and the “Citizens for Macedonia” Movements

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Recent anti-governmental social movements in countries of former Yugoslavia have awakened the spirit of contention which had been dormant for almost two decades. The overwhelming economic deprivation, accompanied by the massive violation of basic human rights of the citizens, urged the challengers to take the streets.

This paper is focused on comparison of two movements, the “Citizens for Macedonia” movement in the Republic of Macedonia and the “Bosnian Spring” in Bosnia and Herzegovina, highlighting the role and influence of movements on the (non)occurrence of policy outputs which articulated claims put forward by social movement organizations (SMOs) as well as other movement actors in the two respective countries. The analysis will be conducted taking into consideration specific social movement related variables like forms/types of claims-making and repertoires of action, as well as wider political process factors such as repression by state actors, and the attitude of allies and opponents of the movements (political parties, mainstream media, general political system characteristics, international community etc.).

Regarding the methodological approach, we will apply a mixed comparative research design, with variation both on side of the independent and the dependent variables. Since the outcomes of the movements are already tangible, we will also apply elements of process tracing methodology (PTM), reconstructing the events as much as possible. My primary data collection tools encompass in-depth interviews (approximately 10 per country) with four specific categories of interviewees (SMO representatives, activists, policymakers and key informants) as well as thorough document analysis referring to the policy outputs.

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