Analyses of protest dynamics in Croatia are rare, partially because until now it was not possible to view them systematically. Relying on the newly collected protest event data from 2000 to 2017, this paper describes the main trends and dynamics of protest activities in Croatia in the observed period. It re-examines Beissinger and Sasse’s claim about the absence of austerity related protests in Croatia after 2008. The analysis shows that though protests directly addressing austerity were relatively scarce, when the protest set is expanded to protests which demanded free public education, advocated labour rights, and fought for the right to the city, the prevailing thesis about “quietism” in Croatia can be challenged. The paper aims to relate some of the observed protest dynamics to Kerbo’s distinction between movements of crisis and movements of affluence. Focusing on the period between the student movement in 2008 until Facebook protests in 2011, it shows that the student movement and “The Right to the City” movement preceded Facebook protests in formulating and expressing socio-economic grievances and articulated anti-systemic sentiment. Due to their strong organizational structureresources and activists’ “know-how”, these movements resemble Kerbo’s movements of affluence. On the other hand, the 2011 Facebook protests lacked organizational structure and continuous engagement and can be seen as movements of crisis.
Full reference: Balković, A. (2019). The austerity fuelled wave of contention in Croatia – myth or reality?, Anali Hrvatskog politološkog društva 16(1): 71-94
Authors: Ana Balković