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 Otpors success and show how Vet?vendosjes 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.