Culture and Customs of Croatia

By Marilyn Cvitanic | Go to book overview

3
Civic Values and Political Thought

Upon achieving independence in the 1990s, Croatia was finally free to develop a system of government that served its own values and interests. This chapter discusses Croatian domestic political and governance issues with respect to the attitudes and priorities reflected in the policy-making process. A country at the crossroads of East and West, Croatia looks clearly to Western European models of government and political thought. As part of the former Yugoslavia, one of the most liberal and progressive countries in Eastern Europe, Croatia initially had an advantage over many of its Eastern European counterparts that also achieved sovereignty in the post-Soviet 1990s. Many Croatians had some experience, albeit indirectly through travel and media, with democratic institutions and capitalism as well as contact with the large diaspora in Germany, Canada, and the United States. Much of that advantage was eliminated by the Homeland War, which ushered in an era of ethnic nationalism and corruption under the rule of authoritarian and corrupt political leadership. Croatia has since tried to regain its economic footing and direct its policies toward the pragmatic goal of European Union (EU) membership, which has not proven easy. Croatians are steadfast in their commitment to democracy and the free market, but the EU membership process has required painful self-examination. Xenophobic right-wing nationalism, political favoritism and corruption, and discrimination against minorities are all issues that the government and citizenry have had to face head-on in the past several years to gain EU membership and respect in the international community.

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Culture and Customs of Croatia
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Series Foreword vii
  • Preface ix
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • Chronology xiii
  • 1 - Geography and History 1
  • 2 - Religion 43
  • 3 - Civic Values and Political Thought 51
  • 4 - Marriage and Family, Gender Issues, and Education 65
  • 5 - Holidays and Leisure Activities 77
  • 6 - Cuisine and Fashion 91
  • 7 - Literature 107
  • 8 - Media and Cinema 127
  • 9 - Music and Performing Arts 141
  • 10 - Painting and Sculpture 167
  • 11 - Architecture and Housing 193
  • Selected Bibliography 219
  • Index 227
  • About the Author 241
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