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Document Type:Latin Dissertation
Language of Document:English
Record Number:52481
Doc. No:TL22435
Call number:‭3392335‬
Main Entry:Jake Lowinger
Title & Author:Economic reform and the 'double movement' in Yugoslavia: An analysis of labor unrest and ethno-nationalism in the 1980sJake Lowinger
College:The Johns Hopkins University
Date:2009
Degree:Ph.D.
student score:2009
Page No:246
Abstract:This study is the first complete analysis of social upheaval in Yugoslavia in the 1980s, especially on the groundswell of organized labor resistance that emerged in resistance to rapid economic transformation. This study introduces a new data source on "events of labor unrest" (ELUs) in the period, consisting of nearly 1500 reports of labor unrest (RLUs) culled from the former Yugoslavia's main Serbo-Croatian news publications from the years 1980-1988. The data advance a striking argument and a new historical perspective on the causes of ELUs, their direct consequences, their distribution, and their role in the breakdown of the Yugoslav Federation. Labor unrest emerged as a threat to the Federal Government of Yugoslavia in response to the many attempts to introduce the policies of economic "shock therapy" promoted by the International Monetary Fund. These policies sought to reduce wages, close unprofitable firms, reorganize social relationships within the workplace, and otherwise control inflation. The death of Tito in 1980 is shown to have created a leadership vacuum that was filled by a series of increasingly 'disembedded' economic experts who were accountable mainly to the IMF, the agency that acted as gatekeeper of foreign investment in the face of the Federation's growing credit problems. As the decade wore on, workers across the Federation resorted to striking as the primary means of communicating their dissatisfaction with the federal government and its policies. This study tracks the development of the workers' movement Federation-wide, and also pays considerable attention to several case studies: Croatia, Bosnia-Hercegovina, Kosovo, and Macedonia. The similarities in the development of an organized labor movement in these regions are shown to correspond to similar processes of extreme nationalist parties capturing the momentum for social change generated by labor actions in all but one case. The study applies Karl Polanyi's framework of "The Great Transformation" to explain how labor emerged in the interest of the "self-protection of society" to resist the attempt to "disembed" the market from social relations, and then posits that this very process of social self-protection created a political impasse out of which emerged a process of fragmentation along sectarian lines that violently terminated the possibility for the Federation's existence.
Subject:Social sciences; Labor unrest; Economic reform; Yugoslavia; Restructuring; Ethnic war; Polanyi, Karl; Nineteen 80s; European history; Labor relations; Social structure; 0700:Social structure; 0335:European history; 0629:Labor relations
Added Entry:G. S. Arrighi, Beverly
Added Entry:The Johns Hopkins University