Mislav Žitko sudjelovao na 14th ESA Conference 2019 Europe and Beyond: Boundaries, Barriers and Belonging, Manchester 20.-23. kolovoza 2019.
Mislav Žitko sudjelovao je na 14th ESA Conference 2019 Europe and Beyond: Boundaries, Barriers and Belonging, Manchester 20.-23. kolovoza 2019., te je s kolegicom Jelenom Ostojić održao izlaganje "Establishment populism and the politics of internal devaluation: the case of Croatia".
The countries of the postsocialist bloc that formed the last two waves of eastward enlargement were never good candidates in terms of support and advocacy for Social Europe. After the initial effort to ground their political legitimacy around the accession process and subsequent EU membership, the political classes in some countries have made a profound turn toward authoritarian rule driven by nationalism and euroscepticism. Nevertheless, the discourse that posits the European Union as a progressive force remains strong. The first part of the paper aims to analyse this discourse, provisionally labelled as establishment populism, and its internal mechanisms in the case of Croatia, last country to join the EU. In particular, we will attempt to highlight the displacement of class relations and conflicts over distribution through the excessive focus on clientelism, corruption and other features of the so-called crony capitalism. The establishment populism uses these deviations in order to counterpose them to rule of law provided by the EU institutions, thereby forming a narrative in which the antidote for deficiencies of the EU is “more Europe“. The second part of the paper brings the class analysis back in and indicates the factors and mechanism that led to deterioration of the position of labor in the period of illusive prosperity before the crisis and in the recessionary times during the crisis. Thus, we will focus on the interplay between internal (domestic) aspects (wage policies, labor legislation, political representation of labor etc.) and external ones, mostly related to the mechanisms and procedures of the European Union, inasmuch as they form a particular variety of neoliberalism.