Vol. 45, No. 1-2, March-June 2017

Li Bennich-Björkman, Andreas Bagenholm & Andreas Johansson Heinö
In the Absence of Antagonism? Rethinking Eastern European Populism in the Early 2000s

This article argues that a close analysis of the early 2000s populism in post-communist Europe allows us to better understand their novelty at the time, what they brought to party politics, and to better explain the dynamic of politics in the region. The central argument is that there were pivotal parties that held a universalist and community-seeking orientation. The article analyzes three electorally successful parties in Eastern Europe, the National Movement Simeon II (NDSV) in Bulgaria, Jaunais Laiks (JL) in Latvia, and Res Publica (ResP), and uses interviews with party representatives, secondary literature, additional documents and published interviews. The findings indicate that these parties share the common vision of a restored community after a decade of social, economic, and political turmoil. Their message of social harmony was rooted in a decade of partisan politics and multi-party system that enhanced competitive views.

Olga Sholderer
Making Education Work: School Autonomy and Performance

The autonomy of schools is often considered to be improving school performance. However, there is some evidence that there could be conditional factors for such a relationship. This article analyzes the effect of social capital on the relationship between school autonomy and its performance. The study is based upon a new public management approach and uses PISA test data across more than 1,500 schools and multi-level modelling to answer the question. The results suggest that performance of schools is dependent on the level of social capital in the country. Autonomy of schools in countries with more social capital has a positive effect on performance, while autonomy of schools in countries with less social capital brings a negative effect for school performance. The results invite policy-makers for a more customized approach to educational reforms.

Keith Doubt, Harry Khamis & Adnan Tufekcic
Panethnicity and Social Solidarity in Bosnia-Herzegovina

This article examines the social cohesion of Bosnia-Herzegovina’s inhabitants through the concept of panethnicity.  Panethnicity is exemplified through an array of shared marriage practices and kinship patterns. The marriage customs analyzed are prenuptial parties, elopements, affinal visitations, fictive kinships, and homogamy. A statistical analysis with a loglinear model using data collected in 2014 on marriage customs from a clustered, stratified, random survey of the population is conducted (n = 2,900).  Despite the political structures of the Dayton Peace Accords that reify ethnic identities, there remains a shared cultural identity in Bosnia-Herzegovina reflected in the marriage customs and kinship relations of its inhabitants. Panethnicity structures a social cohesion that blends the contrasting Durkheimian concepts of organic solidarity and mechanical solidarity.