Kevin Dearnley ACF Abstract FY11

"A Comparative Analysis of Social Movements in the Balkans: Otpor and Vetevendosje"

Michigan Academy of Science, Arts and Letters Conference

Kevin Dearnley

Contrary to what some research has shown, the emergence of a broad social
movement in a country does not always translate into significant political
change.  A social movement can be organized around measurable goals such as
reforming the electoral process, or removing a dictator from power, but size
alone does not guarantee success.  This paper expands upon the current social
movement literature by examining several characteristics of two movements in the
Balkans: Otpor (Resistance) in Serbia and Vet?vendosje (Self-Determination) in
Kosovo, in order to show which characteristics of social movements contribute to
success.  This paper examines the factors that influenced Otpor’s success and
show how Vet?vendosje’s differences as a social movement may explain its lack of
success thus far.  The first factor to be examined is the structure of the
respective social movements.  The second factor is the action orientation of
these social movements.  Various tactics that these groups have used will also
be examined in conjunction with action orientation.  The third factor is the
political environment in which the groups operated.

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