Pluralism and Democracy in Yugoslavia

Reform or Paralysis


  • Zachary T. Irwin



The present debate in Yugoslavia about "democratization" of the League of Communists is a consequence of the Party's heritage of anti-Stalinism, the constitutional evolution of the country, and the situation after Tito's death. Nearly two decades ago the Praxis group of political philosophers were the first to criticize the absence of intraparty democracy, and while many of these critics were silenced, their ideas have re-emerged in Yugoslavia during the economic crisis of the 1980's. Within the League, the debate has touched on its responsibility for public policy, its organizational principles, and its monopoly of power. Opposition to reform and fear of political change have limited practical effect of the debate, but it continues to raise fundamental questions ahout the meaning of democracy in a one party system.