Sell Out, Tune Out, Get Out, or Freak Out?

The Democratization Policy Council and Eurothink are pleased to share our report, Sell Out, Tune Out, Get Out, or Freak Out? Understanding Corruption, State Capture, Radicalization, Pacification, Resilience, and Emigration in Bosnia and Herzegovina and North MacedoniaThe full volume is available, and also a stand-alone Executive Summary and Recommendations.

This report was based on field work in 2020 with over 200 people, beginning just before the pandemic, and in the summer after the strict lockdowns lifted.  Extensive media reviews were conducted for each country, and an online poll. In light of the difficulty in doing field work during COVID-19, this report provides an important overview of the situation in the two countries, from the ground up.

This report is a hybrid: Grounded in academic questions and literature, it strongly reflects the voices of ordinary people in localities that are often ignored in political discussions.   In addition to the presentation of data, a set of 18 community snapshots is included to provide a deeper look at the lived impact of a generation of upheaval and stagnation. It also seeks to contribute to  theory-building and in turn policy-making, as the issues of polarization, corruption, migration, opportunity, dignity, solidarity and vision were themes encountered and synthesized.

The DPC and Eurothink teams hope that this work will contribute to discussions on all of the themes explored. Most importantly, the report is a reminder of the impact on communities and on people of the radical social changes of the past three decades – changes to which consolidated democracies are themselves not immune.