Workers and revolution in Serbia

From Tito to Miloševic and beyond

by Martin Upchurch, Darko Marinkovic

Description
This book offers a refreshing new analysis of the role of workers both in Tito's Yugoslavia and in the subsequent Serbian revolution against Milosevic in October 2000. The authors argue that Tito and the Communist leadership of Yugoslavia saw self-management as a modernising project to compete with the West, and as a disciplining tool for workers in the enterprise. The socialist ideals of self-management were subsequently corrupted by Yugoslavia's turn to the market. The authors then move on to examining the central role of ordinary workers in overthrowing the nationalist regime of Milosevic and present an account which runs contrary to many descriptions of 'labour weakness' in post-Communist states. Organised labour should be studied as a movement in and of itself rather than as a passive object of external forces. Two labour movement waves have emerged under post-Communism, the first an expression of desire for democracy, the second as a collaboration and clientelism. A third wave, against the ravages of neoliberalism, is only just emerging.
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Endorsements

This book traces the role of ordinary workers both during the Tito period and in the October 2000 Revolution in Serbia against Milosevic. The everyday experience of workers under Tito is described, including the experiment of self-management. The authors offer a critical analysis, arguing that Tito and the Communist leadership of Yugoslavia saw self-management as a modernising project to compete with the West, and as a disciplining tool for workers in the enterprise. The socialist ideals of self-management were subsequently corrupted by Yugoslavia's turn to the market. The causes of the revolution against Milosevic are then examined, including the debilitating effects of debt and subservience to the international financial institutions, the hangover from the civil wars, and the corrupt nature of the regime. The workers of Serbia played a central role in overthrowing Milosevic and his nationalism, and this process is recorded in detail within a context of the political economy of Serbia, and its place within the wider European political environment. A central feature of the book is the analysis of the workers' movement and trade unions in Serbia. The authors present an account which runs contrary to many descriptions of 'labour weakness' in post-Communist states and argue that organised labour should be studied as a movement in and for itself rather than as a passive object of external forces. Two labour movement waves have emerged under post-Communism, the first as a desire for democracy, the second as a force for political clientelism. A third wave, against the ravages of neoliberalism, is only just emerging.

Reviews

This book traces the role of ordinary workers both during the Tito period and in the October 2000 Revolution in Serbia against Milosevic. The everyday experience of workers under Tito is described, including the experiment of self-management. The authors offer a critical analysis, arguing that Tito and the Communist leadership of Yugoslavia saw self-management as a modernising project to compete with the West, and as a disciplining tool for workers in the enterprise. The socialist ideals of self-management were subsequently corrupted by Yugoslavia's turn to the market. The causes of the revolution against Milosevic are then examined, including the debilitating effects of debt and subservience to the international financial institutions, the hangover from the civil wars, and the corrupt nature of the regime. The workers of Serbia played a central role in overthrowing Milosevic and his nationalism, and this process is recorded in detail within a context of the political economy of Serbia, and its place within the wider European political environment. A central feature of the book is the analysis of the workers' movement and trade unions in Serbia. The authors present an account which runs contrary to many descriptions of 'labour weakness' in post-Communist states and argue that organised labour should be studied as a movement in and for itself rather than as a passive object of external forces. Two labour movement waves have emerged under post-Communism, the first as a desire for democracy, the second as a force for political clientelism. A third wave, against the ravages of neoliberalism, is only just emerging.

Author Biography

Martin Upchurch is Professor of International Employment Relations at Middlesex University, London; Darko Marinkovic is Professor of Applied Economics at Megatrend University, Belgrade

Bibliographic Information
  • Pub date: May 2016
  • English
  • 9781526112514 / 1526112515
  • United Kingdom
  • PDF
  • Manchester University Press
  • Readership: College/higher education; Professional and scholarly
  • Publish State: Published
  • Dimensions: 234 X 156 mm
  • Reference Code: 9120