The presentation tests the thesis put forward by a number of Vojvodinian and Serbian analysts since the end of the 1980s: that the issue of the autonomy of Vojvodina (rather, a lack of it) is mirroring the (problems of) democratization of Serbia. The question is scrutinized through time periods: starting from the 1990s, moving to the fall of Slobodan Milošević’s regime and the subsequent changes in the Province’s legislation (concessions and “horse-trading” with political parties in Serbia proper) that took place in the mid-to-late 2000s, and the period since the rule of the Serbian Progress Party in 2012 and an advanced stage of political oligarchization. Can it be argued that the very concept of autonomy has been wasted through a series of concessions that the “autonomist” political and civic actors in Vojvodina have made, hidden behind the general complaints about the threats to the special Vojvodinian “historical” “multicultural identity?” It will be shown that, despite such apparent grievances, the (multi-) cultural specifics of the province and its minorities’ status have been also seriously jeopardized without organized opposition. The resulting condition is “ikebana,” as a ritual status of multiculturalism, inter-ethnicity and administrative autonomy, subsumed under the EU notion of “regionalism,” a reflection of the disciplining, camouflaging, and marginalization of the lines of conflict and discontent.
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Meeting ID: 884 0894 1379