Tuesday, April 2nd, will be an exciting day for Balkan-watchers in Belgrade


First at the Faculty of organisational sciences Alena Ledeneva will be promoting her new book Can Russia Modernise, in which she introduces the concept of ‘Sistema’ to explain how Putin’s system of governance through informal power is surprisingly effective in the short-run, and yet detrimental for the long-term modernization of Russia. Although Professor Ledeneva’s work is mainly focused on Russia, she is a close observer of the whole post-communist region, including the Balkans.

Just across the street, at the Faculty of political science, Dušan Reljić will visit the CISBalk to talk about contemporary foreign policies of two regional powers that have shaped the history of the Balkans for centuries. Triangle Russia, Turkey and the Balkans may become increasingly important again, as the European union continues to suffer from the economic and institutional malaise in years to come.

Finally, following Mr. Reljić’s talk, and again at the Faculty of Political Science, Laza Kekić will present the findings of the Economist Intelligence Unit annual democracy report released just the other day. Mr. Kekić may help us decide whether we should be content or worried that we are living in a flawed democracy, and that democracy in the world seems to have neither advanced nor retreated in 2012

And not to forget, April 2nd is also the day for the eighth round of talks between Belgrade and Pristina in Brussels. An unnamed EU diplomat leaked on Friday to our friends at the Balkan Insight that the two sides “have already reached a substantive agreement on the future Association of Serbian Municipalities in Kosovo”, and that the agreement will be revealed April 2nd, after both negotiating teams have taken some time to prepare their domestic audiences. So expect quite a few of us to be checking our smartphones during those three thought-provoking lectures on Tuesday.

See you there!

So, here is the Schedule for April 2nd:

  1. Alena Ledeneva (University College London), “Can Russia Modernise?: Sistema, Power Networks and Informal Governance”, 16.15h, Faculty of Organisational Sciences, 154/Jove Ilića st, Room 015 (ask for ‘Amfitetatar 015’ in Serbian).
  2. Dušan Reljić (German Institute for International and Security Affairs), “Russia, Turkey and the Balkans”, 17.00h (thus, sadly, partially clashing with the first event), Faculty of Political Science, 165/Jove Ilića st, Room: TBA.
  3. Laza Kekić (Economist Intelligence Unit), “EIU Democracy Index 2012”, 19.00h, Faculty of Political Science 165/Jove Ilića st, Room: TBA.
  4. Ivica Dačić and Hashim Thaci, “eighth round of the Belgrade-Pristina talks, and reactions afterwards”, all day, Brussels, Belgrade, Pristina, Worldwide, Outcome: TBA.

Event Date
2 April 2013