The current study is an attempt to fill the existing gap between the studies of the Balkan political culture, interethnic understanding, and data analyses on the region based on cross-national comparative surveys. An interdisciplinary research has been done that bring together sociological, historical and political science knowledge for identifying the peculiarities of the Balkan political culture and its impact upon interethnic understanding in comparison with some Central European post communist countries (Poland and Czech Republic) and West European countries (United Kingdom, France, and Germany). The study is trying to complement the historical explanation on macro-level and quantitative methods on micro-level, thus using both interpretative and quantitative analyses of the Balkan political culture and interethnic understanding in a comparative approach. The concept of zero-sum-game social reasoning is operationalised by data and is used as a mediator between the theoretical and empirical knowledge on the Balkan political culture and interethnic acceptance.
The main finding of the research that has been done shows that in general, the development of non-zero-sum reasoning and of civic and individualized consciousness among Balkan populations could foster democratic tendencies in the examined countries, and could decrease interethnic tensions and conflicts with the peculiar deviation of the Bulgarian case. The study thus proves that, indeed, political culture of the region could be better understood mainly through modernization trend and 'imperatives of liberalization' explanatory framework. The comparison of the Balkan countries examined with some Central European post-communist and West European countries shows that there is no unique Balkan pattern but rather a common post-communist pattern of political support for the new regime which due not that much to the long-term historical peculiarities of the regions as to the short-term communist and post-communist experience of the Balkan and Central European post-communist countries.
Project contact: Svetlana Stamenova.