Articles by Dragan Plavsic

About Dragan Plavsic

Dragan Plavšić is a member of Marks21 in Serbia and is the co-editor, with Andreja Živković, of The Balkan Socialist Tradition and the Balkan Federation 1871-1915 (London 2003).”

Macedonia, without Additions: why we must oppose the Tsipras-Zaev agreement

Introduction The Tsipras-Zaev agreement on Macedonia stipulating, on Greek insistence, that Macedonians must call their country ‘North Macedonia’ instead of simply ‘Macedonia’ has garnered support even from some well-regarded names on the left. In July, the liberal British newspaper, the Guardian, published a letter backing the agreement signed by a host of left-leaning intellectuals including Étienne Balibar, Judith Butler, Costas Douzinas and Jean-Luc Nancy among others. To be precise, the letter didn’t just back the agreement, it praised it to the skies for its many alleged qualities – for res ..

Bosnia, a Serb Referendum and the Left

What exactly has been going on in Bosnia-Herzegovina? A good question. At first sight, it might well have seemed like a storm in a teacup. Republika Srpska, the Serbian statelet in divided Bosnia, wanted to celebrate its own statehood day on 9 January. No big deal, you might think, but you’d be wrong. This is serious. In 1992, Bosnia split apart on warring ethnic lines. In 1995, the Dayton Peace Agreement formalised the split by partitioning Bosnia into a Bosniak-Croat federation and Republika Srpska. The issue of celebrating statehood day on 9 January, the date of Republika Srpska’s 1992 declaration of indep ..

Montenegro and Serbia between NATO and Russia

In December last year, NATO officially invited Montenegro to become the 29th member state of the most powerful military organisation of our times, if not, in fact, of all time. That the invitation will have flattered the already over-inflated ego of country’s Prime Minister, Milo Djukanović, and his ruling clique, there is, of course, little doubt. Nevertheless, this was flattery to deceive, for as everybody knows, Montenegro’s voice in NATO will be like a whistle in a whirlwind.[1] To be sure, the invitation had nothing to do with the direct military contribution that Montenegro – a country with a populat ..

How Not to Debate: My Reply to Agon Hamza (Concluding Part 2 of the Kosovo polemic)

With special thanks to MC, a LeftEast reader For a rounded view of the Kosovo Question It might be valuable, at this juncture, to go back to another key issue where there is a significant measure of agreement between my view and Hamza’s, even if Hamza is, much to my disappointment, so set on obscuring it. For there is clearly agreement between us on Serbia’s shameful role as the oppressor of the Kosovo Albanians, ever since it occupied Kosovo in the First Balkan War of 1912 – and most recently during the appalling oppression of the 1990s. There is also agreement between us on the internationalist duty of t ..

How Not to Debate: My Reply to Agon Hamza (Part 1)

Containing a personal appeal to Agon Hamza and the Editorial Board of LeftEast  Introduction When I was informed that Agon Hamza was preparing a response to my critique of Slavoj Žižek’s views on the Balkans, I made an assumption that I now realise was naïve. For I assumed that Hamza would engage in a constructive, evidence-based debate of the issues, a debate I hoped would be mutually beneficial. And I made this assumption because it was clear, as I showed by citing Hamza’s very own writings, that he and I agreed on a key theme of my critique – that is, our joint opposition to Žižek’s partition pla ..

Did Somebody Say Ethnic Partition? A Critique of Žižek on Kosovo and the Balkans (Concluding Part 4)

Notes from the LeftEast editors: This is the second out of four parts of the article of Dragan Plavšić, which offers a critique of the recent book of Slavoy Zizek and Agon Hamza “ “From Myth to Symptom: The Case of Kosovo”. The first part of the article can be read here, the second here, and the third here. “Points of departure” for a Balkan Federation Perhaps it is time to put Žižek aside lest we descend into despondency and despair! Perhaps it is time to think of better things! Let us go back, then, to Badiou’s altogether more promising alternative of a Balkan Federation and recall that thi ..

Did Somebody Say Ethnic Partition? A Critique of Žižek on Kosovo and the Balkans (Part 3)

Notes from the LeftEast editors: This is the second out of four parts of the article of Dragan Plavšić, which offers a critique of the recent book of Slavoy Zizek and Agon Hamza “ “From Myth to Symptom: The Case of Kosovo”. The first part of the article can be read here, and the second here, and the last here. Žižek: To be, or not to be, for imperialism, that is the question! From Myth to Symptom attempts, as we have seen, to provide a critique of neo-imperial intervention and experimentation in Kosovo. And we have also seen that one of its key features is a critique of “ethno-centric reasoning” ..

Did Somebody Say Ethnic Partition? A Critique of Žižek on Kosovo and the Balkans (Part 2)

Notes from the LeftEast editors: This is the second out of four parts of the article of Dragan Plavšić, which offers a critique of the recent book of Slavoy Zizek and Agon Hamza ” “From Myth to Symptom: The Case of Kosovo”. The first part of the article can be read here, the third one here, and the last here. Žižek: For ethno-centric reasoning! His road to partition In From Myth to Symptom, we encountered Žižek’s call for the building of “TRANSNATIONAL political movements and institutions” to constrain capital. This call certainly cuts against the grain of national-insular thinking that ou ..

Did Somebody Say Ethnic Partition? A Critique of Žižek on Kosovo and the Balkans (Part 1)

Notes from the LeftEast editors: This is the first out of four parts of the article of Dragan Plavšić, which offers a critique of the recent book of Slavoy Zizek and Agon Hamza ” “From Myth to Symptom: The Case of Kosovo”. The second part of the article can be read here, the third one here, and the last one here. There is nothing quite like reading Slavoj Žižek; better still, there is nothing quite like listening to Slavoj Žižek. But above all, there is nothing quite like being confused by Slavoj Žižek. A giant of the contemporary intellectual Left, Žižek has for many years explicitly soug ..

The Kosovo Question: A New Way Forward from the Serbian Left

With its feet stuck in the wet mud of Kosovo Polje[1] and its head lost in the thick fog of Brussels, the government has been in soul-searching torment over the key question of our political life – what to do about Kosovo? The source of all this torment is not, of course, difficult to locate. Trapped by its desperation to join the EU – its key strategy for ‘resolving’ Serbia’s debt crisis – our ruling class has been weeping tears of nationalist self-pity over the need to do a deal on Kosovo it will not like, in return for EU membership. Indeed, for some time now, Washington and Brussels have b ..