Articles by Vladimir Unkovski-Korica

About Vladimir Unkovski-Korica

Vladimir Unkovski-Korica is a member of Marks21 in Serbia. He is a historian and researcher who is currently Lecturer in Central and East European Studies at the University of Glasgow. His upcoming book entitled “The Economic Struggle for Power in Tito’s Yugoslavia: From World War II to Non-Alignment” will be released soon.

Defeat for EU and NATO expansion: the failed referendum in Macedonia

The failed referendum in the small Balkan state represents a major upset for the West, argues Vladimir Unkovski-Korica The 30 September 2018 was a disaster for the EU and NATO in the Balkans. The vast majority of the electorate of Macedonia boycotted a referendum that asked: ‘Are you in favour of membership in NATO and the European Union by accepting the deal between the Republic of Macedonia and Republic of Greece?’ At the time of writing, the state electoral commission expected the final turnout to be between 36 and 37 percent, significantly below the 50 percent required to make the result valid. Half an ho ..

Tensions in the Balkans: is Serbia preparing to recognise Kosovo?

The Serbian President’s rhetoric since July 2017 has been suggestive of a compromise deal – but, argues Vladimir Unkovski-Korica, the future is still uncertain.   Last week, Kosovo’s authorities failed to publish their promised draft statute for the Community of Serb Municipalities (ZSO) i.e. for the several tens of thousands of Serbs concentrated in north Kosovo on the border with Serbia. This was meant to be a key milestone in the so-called ‘normalisation’ of relations between Serbia and Kosovo, but there is now renewed scepticism about the future. In reality, though, the latest setback is just one o ..

Belgrade’s Municipal Elections: A Class Analysis of the Vote

Belgrade held regular municipal elections on Sunday 4 March. These were the first municipal elections since the mass protests against the Belgrade waterfront project in spring 2016. As such, they were a major test for the conservative Aleksandar Vučić regime since his presidential re-election in 2017. The regime understood the dangers posed by a potential opposition breakthrough, and poured major resources into the municipal election. Serbian President Vučić increasingly distanced himself from the discredited and outgoing mayor, Siniša Mali, and made the election a referendum on himself personally. His party ..

The Trump Effect in the Balkans: Serbia’s third election in four years?

Serbia faces a set of regular presidential elections this year – but also the prospect of its third parliamentary election in four years. The latter possibility confirms those analyses that have posited the instability of Serbian politics in spite of the appearance of stability, following the ruling coalition winning almost half the votes cast in both previous elections. Serbia after Milošević: Between West and East From the fall of Slobodan Milošević in 2000 to the presidential elections of 2012, Serbian politics was primarily divided geopolitically. Serbia’s governments predominantly took the form of ..

The pain goes on: Greece and the European Union (EU)

As the UK’s referendum on the European Union approaches, Greek workers are facing more pain from Greece’s European creditors The Eurozone last week pushed Greece to accept more austerity in exchange for a loan of 7.5 billion euros to pay off the country’s debt. This comes less than a year after Greece was promised debt relief following a bailout worth 86 billion euros last summer. No debt relief deal is in sight, however. Even the IMF, normally a keen proponent of balanced budgets, argued austerity was only making matters worse in Greece. But the Eurozone, led by Germany and the Netherlands, rejected an ..

The courage of conviction: why a tactical ‘remain’ vote makes no sense

Counterfire (May 19, 2016) Vladimir Unkovski-Korica points out the glaring contradictions in Paul Mason’s argument to boycott the EU referendum. In his Guardian column, Paul Mason made a principled case for Brexit, only to argue that it should be ignored at the forthcoming referendum on pragmatic grounds. Mason contends that Brexit now would leave Boris Johnson and Michael Gove, two neoliberal fundamentalists, best placed to profit from the political fallout. But he provides no evidence for this argument – and indeed the substance of his argument runs against his conclusions. It may be the case that the d ..

Serbia’s election outcome: More of the same or worse?

Serbia held early parliamentary elections on 24 April 2016, the second set of early elections in just over two years. Serbian premier and leader of the Serbian Progressive Party (SNS), Aleksandar Vučić, appears to have believed that, with the opposition in disarray, and his own popularity still sky high, he could win an even more resounding victory than on 16 March 2014. The election result, with 98.56% of votes counted, has dashed Vučić’s hopes. Percentage-wise, he almost succeeded, with the coalition around his SNS winning 48.23% of the vote, just short of the 48.35% two years ago. Votes-wise, Vuči ..

Imperialist intervention in Syria: not the people’s dream, but nightmare

Note from the editors: The following article is published in collaboration with the British socialist website,*  Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat their mistakes. Surveying the arguments put forward on the left in response to ruling class debates about whether the imperialist countries should intervene in the Syrian conflict, there appears to be more than an echo of arguments from the past: there appear also to be many of the same mistakes. This article addresses some of these in response to Ilya Budraitskis’s interview with Gilbert Achcar on LeftEast. Achcar’s Contrad ..

Presidential Elections in Croatia. An interview with Tomislav Orešković & Marko Milošević of the Workers’ Front.

Vladimir Unkovski-Korica: Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović narrowly defeated incumbent Ivo Josipović to become the new president of Croatia. She is the first member of the centre-right Croatian Democratic Union to become president since the death of the country’s first president after independence, Franjo Tudjman. Why did she win and what did she campaign for? Milošević: Her victory signifies the defeat of the liberal left in Croatia. I’d say that it’s not that she got more votes, but rather that Josipović got less. A large chunk of the “progressive” vote went to the populist outsider Sin ..

The Women’s Front for Labour and Social Rights in Croatia. An Interview with Vedrana Bibić and Tina Tešija.

Left East’s Vladimir Unkovski-Korica spoke with Vedrana Bibić and Tina Tešija from the Women’s Front for Labour and Social Rights in Zagreb. Could you tell us about who and what gave rise to the Women’s Front for Labour and Social Rights? What does the initiative stand for? The Women’s Front for Labour and Social Rights is an informal initiative set up in September 2013 in Zagreb, following the call by women’s union groups to numerous civil society associations which deal with the defence of specific human rights (for instance, the rights of asylum seekers, national minorities, the LGBT commu ..