Political Representation of National Minorities – Serbia in a Comparative Perspective

Migracijske i Etniĉke Teme. 2011;27(3):393-417


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Journal Title: Migracijske i Etniĉke Teme

ISSN: 1333-2546 (Print); 1848-9184 (Online)

Publisher: Institute for Migration and Ethnic Studies

LCC Subject Category: Political science: Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration

Country of publisher: Croatia

Language of fulltext: Russian, Serbian, English, French, Croatian

Full-text formats available: PDF



Slaviša Orlović (Faculty of Political Sciences, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia)


Double blind peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 25 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

The subject of this paper is the political representation of national minorities, with reference to solutions and practices in Serbia. Theoretical concepts of political representation in divided societies are considered in the first place, and comparative experiences and international standards are then set forth. One points to various mechanisms that ensure more adequate representation of minorities. In order to ensure easier representation of national minorities, use is made of specific solutions in the electoral system. It is common for the proportional electoral system to favour representation in divided societies. The majority system can also be suitable when minorities are territorially more concentrated. If minorities are dispersed throughout the territory, then the majority system reduces their chances for representation. National minorities in Serbia have resorted to various methods and tactics to impose themselves as representatives of their communities and ensure a place in representative bodies. After political changes in 2000, the position of national minorities has significantly improved. Despite certain shortcomings, the mechanisms ensuring more adequate representation of national minorities have a significant role in minority rights implementation, enable more satisfactory political representation and better articulation of interests, as well as a greater degree of legitimacy of institutions and systems. When minorities are better integrated and accommodated into the system, the degree of democracy in a society is higher.