Book chapter: Neoliberal reforms and public accountability in the Western Balkans

by Kurian

A technocratic notion of accountability in a context of ethnic, religious and nationalistic tensions contributed to weak democratic institutions. This enabled ‘state capture’ by local elites, who displayed nominal upward accountability in order to access funds while experiencing insufficient pressure to practise downward accountability. Commercialization of the social welfare regime led to the individualization of benefits and payments, restricting the potential for collective mobilization to hold governments accountable. While civil society was important in highlighting the resulting lack of public accountability, it was politically fragmented, underfunded and aid-dependent, and its protests could not be sustained. Read more