A house with two doors

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1 A house with two doors An analysis of the effect of OSCE/ODIHR election observation in Serbia Urður Gunnarsdóttir Lokaverkefni til MA-gráðu í alþjóðasamskiptum Félagsvísindasvið Júní 2017

2 A house with two doors An analysis of the effect of OSCE/ODIHR election observation in Serbia Urður Gunnarsdóttir Lokaverkefni til MA-gráðu í alþjóðasamskiptum Leiðbeinandi: Silja Bára Ómarsdóttir Stjórnmálafræðideild Félagsvísindasvið Háskóla Íslands Júní 2017

3 Ritgerð þessi er lokaverkefni til MA-gráðu í alþjóðasamskiptum og er óheimilt að afrita ritgerðina á nokkurn hátt nema með leyfi rétthafa. Urður Gunnarsdóttir Reykjavík, Ísland 2017

4 Útdráttur Með kosningaeftirliti er metið hvort kosningar uppfylli lýðræðislegar kröfur og gerðar tillögur að umbótum þar sem það á við. Undanfarna tvo áratugi hefur Lýðræðis- og mannréttindastofnun ÖSE, OSCE/ODIHR, haft með höndum kosningaeftirlit í aðildarríkjum stofnunarinnar. Til að kanna hvort þessi aðferð til að mæla stöðu lýðræðis í einstökum ríkjum bætir raunverulega úr því hvernig staðið er að kosningum, skoðaði höfundur allar lokaskýrslur kosningaeftirlits ODIHR í einu ríki, Serbíu, 15 talsins, og lagði mat á hvaða þáttum væri bætt úr og hverjum síður. Einnig var skoðað hvort vilji til úrbóta markaðist af tengslum Serbíu við önnur ríki og samstarfsvilja við alþjóðastofnanir, einkum umsókn stjórnvalda um aðild að Evrópusambandinu. Niðurstaða þessarar greiningar er sú að þrátt fyrir skýran vilja stjórnvalda til að bæta kosningakerfi og lagaumhverfi kosninga fyrstu árin eftir fall Slobodans Milosevic árið 2000, ekki síst vegna aðildarumsóknar að ESB, dregur úr viljanum frá árinu 2008, t.d. er varðar að setja reglur um fjármál stjórnmálaflokka. Þá hefur staða og sjálfstæði fjölmiðla versnað, um leið og hótanir í garð kjósenda hafa skotið upp kollinum að nýju og valdhafar nýtt sér aðstöðumun til að fá aukna og gagnrýnislausa umfjöllun í aðdraganda kosninga. Þetta helst í hendur við aukna áherslu stjórnvalda í Serbíu á samskipti við bandamenn í austri og tilhneigingu stjórnvalda í allnokkrum Evrópuríkjum að slaka á ítrustu lýðræðiskröfum. 3

5 Abstract Election monitoring assesses whether elections are in line with democratic standards and makes recommendations for improvements, where needed. Over the past two decades, the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, OSCE/ODIHR, has observed elections in the Organization s member states. To examine whether this method of assessing the state of democracy improves the conduct of elections, the author analysed all final reports of OSCE/ODHR election observation in one country, Serbia, 15 in total, and assessed which factors have been improved and which ones less so. Furthermore, the author analysed whether there is a correlation between the will to improve elections and governmental policy vis-à-vis international cooperation and democratic credentials, to the extent it is measureable, looking in particular at Serbia s EU membership aspirations. This analysis concludes that despite a clear will of Serbian authorities after the fall of Slobodan Milosevic in 2000 to improve the electoral and legal framework, improvements have been lagging since 2008 on issues such as party financing. During the same period, since 2008, media independence has deteriorated, while intimidation towards voters has re-emerged and incumbency has been taken advantage of to get increased and uncritical coverage. This goes hand in hand with Serbian authorities looking more towards its allies in the East and the tendency of some governments in Europe to relax on the strictest requirements of democracy. 4

6 Preface Election observation is a way to measure the ill-measureable: the state of democracy. While the author is fully aware of the limitations of measuring democracy at all, it may be argued that in the absence of a better or more encompassing tool, the conduct of elections serves as an important indicator of the health and vibrancy of a democracy. The author s background is four years work for the Organization for Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in the Balkans and over four years as a spokesperson for the OSCE s Office for Democratic Institution s and Human Rights (OSCE/ODIHR), covering election observation in a majority of the OSCE s 57 participating states. For the last nine years, the author has worked for the Icelandic government and hence been on the receiving end of OSCE/ODIHR s observations. This has raised interest in what drives government or authorities to move on improving and strengthening democracy. In preparation for this assignment the author has drawn on comments from fellow students and lecturer in the mandatory course Masters theses: Research plans and design - STJ302F, particularly with regards to expounding information on data and literature. Sound advice has also been sought with experienced election observers. The supervisor for this dissertation is Silja Bára Ómarsdóttir, adjunct lecturer at the Faculty of Political Science, School of Social Sciences at the University of Iceland. It accounts for 30 ECTS credits for a Master of Arts degree in International Relations at the University. The research and the writing fully abide by the Code of Ethics, applicable at the University of Iceland. 1 1 University of Iceland Ethics Committee, "Vísindasiðareglur Háskóla Íslands," 5

7 Index Útdráttur... 3 Abstract... 4 Preface... 5 Abbreviations Introduction Purpose and research questions Scope and structure Research perspective Theoretical background Realism neo-realism Liberalism - Liberal institutionalism Constructivism Democracy: a definition Summary Methodology Methodology Sources OSCE election observation Election observation OSCE/ODIHR Human dimension Methodology Political environment Serbia overview Serbia in the Cold War Balkan wars - nationalism

8 5.3 Milosevic s legacy Back from the cold EU ambitions A house with two doors Election observation in Serbia Overview Analysis Election system Election commissions Election law Voter registration Political campaign Ballots Candidate Lists Media Vote Count Aggregation of results/disputes Publication of results Observers Summary Discussion Do election observations have an effect? How does election observation work? The effect on Serbia s elections Post-wall Europe Conclusion Bibliography Annex I

9 Abbreviations ACA Anti-corruption Agency CoE Council of Europe DOS Democratic Opposition of Serbia EC Election Commission (all levels) FRY Federal Republic of Yugoslavia IR International Relations OSCE Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe ODIHR OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights PB Polling Board PS Polling Station RBA Republic Broadcast Agency REC Republic Election Commission SAA Stabilisation and Association Agreement with the EU SNS Serbian Progressive Party SPS Socialist Party of Serbia VL Voter List 8

10 1 Introduction Serbia, as a young democracy on European crossroads, faces many challenges when it comes to holding fully democratic elections. This dissertation, A house with two doors: An analysis of the effect of OSCE/ODIHR election observation in Serbia , looks at parliamentary, presidential and municipal elections in Serbia/Federal Republic of Yugoslavia/Serbia and Montenegro in and election observation and recommendations based on the observation by the Organization for Security and Cooperation s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (OSCE/ODIHR). For ease of reading, reference will from now on be made to Serbia, in line with the definition made by OSCE/ODIHR and the fact that Serbia is the successor state of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia ( ) and Serbia and Montenegro ( ), it was the seat of the capital, Belgrade, and holder of the national flag. Elections are an important tool to measure the health and vibrancy of a democracy, be it only to a limited extent. There are differing views amongst scholars, politicians and others on whether international observation serves its purpose. The aim is to examine whether election observation delivers on its objective, which is to improve the conduct of democratic elections as one of the building blocks for democracy, peace and security. Furthermore, to examine whether and to what extent there is a correlation between the will to adhere to the observers recommendations and governmental policy vis-à-vis international cooperation and democratic credentials, to the extent it is measureable. This author s research questions are exploring whether there is a relationship between the willingness to improve elections and the interest by government to earn respect of, and admission to, international organizations; whether this willingness for improvement is also an indicator of the state and robustness of democracy and possible changes in international politics, which put a question-mark to the conventional western definition of democracy. At the same time the aim is to demonstrate how election observation serves as an incentive or even the stick needed (vs. the carrot) for an emerging democracy to move forward. By analysing all election observation reports for Serbia s elections in the timespan given, the author intends to draw up an image of issues that a young, European democracy is facing on its way from conflict and autocracy following the end of the Cold War and its willingness to adhere and react to international demands and concerns. By drawing up a parallel line of 9

11 Serbia s domestic politics and international politics where that applies, the author aims to demonstrate that outside peer-pressure has a direct effect on the willingness to improve election processes and thereby affecting the country s democracy in a constructive but also adverse way. During the writing of this dissertation, a Needs Assessment Report for the 2 April 2017 Presidential election was issued, confirming many of the trends emerging from the analysis of the reports. 1.1 Purpose and research questions Election observation has been conducted for over 20 years by the OSCE. The participating states of the OSCE have declared democratic elections as a key component of the so-termed soft security, necessary to reduce the danger of conflict. The aim of election observation is not only to assess to which extent elections are held in respect of fundamental freedoms, but also to promote the improved conduct of elections. 2 The purpose of this thesis is to investigate whether and to what extent this is contributing to the improved health of democracy in the state concerned. Such analysis is also an important contribution to the assessment of the usefulness and the methodology of election observation. The author hopes that by taking a microscopic look at a particular country, over a 19-year period, she will be able to demonstrate the gradual changes taking place. By using analyses based on the same methodology in the same country, the comparison should provide valuable insight into the reaction of governments to constructive criticism. This dissertation should add to growing body of research on election observation, by looking specifically at one country, and by taking into consideration the author s background in election observation for a regional organization. Research questions What are the main challenges facing Serbian authorities and society in the election process? Which recommendations by OSCE/ODIHR, as the representative of the international community, are accepted and implemented and which are not? Are the changes made substantial improvements of the system, or partial, and are there particular recommendations which are ignored? 2 OSCE/ODIHR, "Elections," Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, 10

12 Is there a correlation between the will to implement changes and the political landscape, both domestically but also internationally? Has the prospect of eventual European Union (EU) membership had an effect on the will and capacity to make changes and improvements to the election process, i.e. as a carrot and stick? 1.2 Scope and structure In order to define the subject of this dissertation, election observation by one internationally recognized institution in one country will be examined. OSCE/ODIHR has been selected as it is one of the leading international election observation bodies 3, applying an internationally agreed methodology, 4 to systematically assess the extent to which elections respect fundamental freedoms and are characterized by equality, universality, political pluralism, confidence, transparency and accountability. 5 Serbia has been selected as it has been subject of a total of 15 election observation missions in two decades 6 and therefore offers a consistent view, varied mainly in time. Serbia, as a young democracy, is of interest due to its proximity to established western democracies, Serbia s shifting interest in closer alliance with those states and its old allies in Eastern Europe, and its turbulent history since the end of the Cold War. The OSCE s election observation methodology, which is a method of analysing the election process, prior, during and following the election, has been applied since 1996, hence the scope of time in this dissertation. The two decades offer a consistent view on elections in the same country over a period of great political and policy changes, from Slobodan Milosevic s autocratic regime following the Bosnia war ending in 1995 and through the Kosovo war, ending in 1999, his fall from grace in 2000 and different multi-party governments, which have generally been motivated by EU membership. This dissertation will draw up a theoretical definition of key aspects of the subject: of democracy and democratic elections, international cooperation, and the development of norms 3 Election Observation and Democratic Support. EODS, Handbook for European Union Election Observation, ed. EODS, Third edition ed. (Luxembourg: Publication Office of the European Union, 2016). 9 4 UNEAD/NDI, "Declaration of Principles for International Election Observervation and Code of Conduct for International Election Observers," United Nations Electoral Assistance Division/National Democratic Institute, 5 OSCE/ODIHR. Elections. 6 OSCE/ODIHR "Elections in Serbia," Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, 11

13 that govern the interactions between states within international institutions. It will draw up an outline of Serbia s complex history since the Second World War before describing international election observation and the background for OSCE/ODIHR s observation in particular, including the challenges it faces. An analysis of the main topics in the observations then forms a basis for a summary of the main conclusions, which will be discussed in the context of scholarly work on election observation and democratic developments. 1.3 Research perspective As stated in the introduction, the author has first-hand knowledge and experience of election observation, as well as working experience in Serbia and neighbouring countries. While the aim of this dissertation is to keep the research perspective neutral towards the event, it does not mean that the approach chosen is entirely positivist or value-free. 7 It is in fact difficult, if not impossible, to foresee a political study which isn t value-laden to at least some extent. By anchoring the research in a methodology subscribed to by over 20 international and domestic election observation groups from around the world, 8 the author hopes to minimize western value-laden assessments and views which are difficult for a researcher from an established western democracy to avoid. The theoretical perspective of the thesis focuses on testing existing theories 9 by applying an approach rooted in liberalism, constructivism and realism. This subject may at first instance be a clear-cut example of liberal theory, defining states as pluralistic, not unitary actors who see value in tying their interests with other states by cooperating internationally which is arguably the motivation and one of the building blocks of the methodology of election observation. However, liberal theory does not fully explain the motivations of states, it does not clarify why and how states act in relation to outside pressure from an international organization. Of interest here is to examine the democratic motivations of a state from the point of view of realism/neo-realism, which stipulates that states act out of self-interest and where the role of international organizations is seen as a tool in a power-struggle, able only to keep the aspirations for power within tolerable bounds. 10 Or to paraphrase Mearsheimer: 7 Gabe T Wang, and Keumjae Park, Student Research and Report Writing: From Topic Seleciton to the Complete Paper (Chichester: Wiley Blackwell, 2016). 5 8 UNEAD/NDI. 99 Dimiter Toshkov, Research Design in Political Science (London: Palgrave, 2016) Hans J Morgenthau, Politics among Nations, Revised by Kenneth W. Thompson, 7th ed. (New York: McGraw Hill, 1948)

14 Institutions are merely arenas to pursue power relationships. 11 Approaching this from another direction calls for a constructivist point of view, focussing on norms and identities. Constructivists agree that behaviour by states as well as individuals is shaped by shared beliefs and socially constructed rules and practices, and that by cooperating they can change the meaning of norms. Krook and True support this, stating that the diffusion of international norms and their effects on policy and political behaviour is a central research question in constructivist theory. 12 Or to quote Toshkov: The researcher seeks information about particular variables previously identified by theories but also pursues promising leads suggested by the case itself John J. Mearsheimer, "The False Promise of International Institutions," International Security 19, no. 3 (1994). 12 Mona Lena Krook, and Jacqui True, "Rethinking the Life Cycles of International Norms: The United Nations and the Global Promotion of Gender Equality," European Journal of International Relations 18, no. 1 (2012) Toshkov

15 2 Theoretical background Developments in international cooperation, relations between states and the existence and of international organizations can be explained with international relations theories, a disciple which has evolved extensively since its emergence as a theoretical scholarship in In this dissertation, election observation and Serbia s reaction to it, is viewed through three of the main strands of international relations theory; realism, which views states in constant struggle for power and security; liberalism, which sees international organisations as key instruments in realizing ideas of a peaceful coexistence of states; and constructivism, which claims that the world is socially constructed and that states behaviour, and that of international organizations, can be explained by norms. As election observation looks at whether elections are conducted in line with democratic standards; this chapter looks at democracy through the lens of the three main IR theories. 2.1 Realism neo-realism The world, according to realists, is a grim place, where states seek to take advantage of each other and see little benefit in cooperation. The struggle for power is characterized by the need to gain and hold power, and, importantly, prevent others from empowerment. Morgenthau sees the fundamental drive for power based on human nature, not universal moral principles, and that those who seek power to stave off a revolt, will employ normative ideologies to conceal their true aims. 15 He argues that despite the human element, moral principles cannot be applied to states. Neither the form nor the nature of power is fixed; it varies, depending on the environment in which power is exercised. Drawing on a range of historical ideas, from Thucydides to Machiavelli, realists believe that the balance of power between states determines their will to cooperate and the extent of their cooperation. While realism is not a description of a world at war at all times, it portrays continuous security competition, where states seek maximum relative power. 16 Realists look at the world from a rational point of view, they see structural factors as the main determinants of state behaviour, not ideas or discourse. 17 The characterizing external behaviour is one that can 14 Stephanie Lawson, International Relations, Second edition ed. (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2012) Morgenthau Mearsheimer. 9/48 17 Ibid

16 be adjudged objectively to be optimally adapted to the situation. 18 In classical realism, power is what drives states, whereas the founding father of neo-realism, Kenneth Waltz, sees the world as anarchic, where states are driven by their need for survival 19 and operate in a selfhelp system, which does not deter them from allying themselves with others, as it is a matter of convenience in the relentless aspiration to survive. In a realist world, peace is unlikely to last and institutions are weak and difficult to sustain. Cooperation between states is based on their perceived gain from it; Mearsheimer s theory is that they are not only preoccupied with their absolute gains, but also, the relative gains of others, which is a powerful deterrent from cooperating. He maintains international institutions merely reflect the world s power distribution but have no great or lasting effect on international stability. Their effect is only marginal, as they reflect the power calculations of great powers without having a direct effect on how states behave. 20 Mearsheimer points to a string of failures of the United Nations, for instance in peacekeeping, which he states has no role to play in disputes between great powers. He also points to the failures of concerts which do not last as the power balance between states changes. 21 Realism does not see that institutions influence stability but that they simply reflect the power distribution in the world. Therefore, the self-interested calculations of the great powers 22 have, at best, a marginal effect. Realist theory dictates that states would never give international organizations the power to enforce sufficiently to overcome anarchy, they reflect national interest and do not constrain powerful states. An international organization is, to quote Mearsheimer, a set of rules that stipulate the ways in which states should cooperate and compete with each other. 23 States then agree upon their behaviour within the boundaries of the institutions, how they cooperate and what is unacceptable. Institutions are not a world government; they call for cooperation in a given field but do not hold the power to penalize. In neo-realism, possibilities for international cooperation are slim and neo-realists generally see the importance of international regimes and institutions as exaggerated. In rational theory, derived from realism, international institutions facilitate self-interested cooperation: states 18 Herbert A. Simon, "Human Nature in Politics: The Dialogue of Psychology with Political Science," American Political Science Review 79, no. 2 (1985) Kenneth N. Waltz, Theory of International Politics (Long Grove: Waveland Press, 1979). 20 Mearsheimer Ibid Ibid Ibid. 8 15

17 participate in international cooperation out of fear of being left behind, even when it is not in their best interest, 24 but also to further their national goals. 2.2 Liberalism - Liberal institutionalism An answer to realism is liberal theory, which links economic, political and social change, and state behaviour in world politics. Moravcsik states that international order is increasingly linked to three variants of liberal theory: national self-determination and social citizenship, the increasing complexity of economic integration, and liberal democratic governance. 25 Moral and ethical principles drive and change States policies, as well as power bargaining and changing international conditions. States vary in their goals and national interests but focus primarily on their individual absolute gains and not the gains of others. 26 Moravcsik summarizes the core assumptions of liberal theory as threefold: individuals and groups are fundamental actors in international politics in a rational and risk-averse manner; the state is merely a representative institution of social actors, constantly affected by their changing coalitions; and each state seeks to realize its preferences under constraints imposed by the preferences of other states. 27 He sees inter-connectivity between domestic politics within states ideas, interests and institutions and how states behave in world politics. These statesociety relations shape state preferences, which, he argues, matter most in world politics. For liberals, he argues, the configuration of state preferences is of greatest importance in world politics not, the configuration of capabilities. 28 State preferences vary, and their interdependence is a systemic outcome; states are not using all their capabilities pursuing one goal in foreign policy. Generally, peace operations and other international programmes to promote democracy and human rights, are the legitimate offspring of the theory of liberalism, focusing on transnational relations and the important role international organizations and non-governmental organizations play in promoting a world where values of freedom, equality and rationality are 24 Lloyd Gruber, "Power Politics and the Free Trade Bandwagon," Comparative Political Studies 34, no. 7 (2001) Andrew Moravcsik, "Taking Preferences Seriously: A Liberal Theory of International Politics," International Organization 51, no Robert Powell, "Absolute and Relative Gains in International Relations Theory," in Neorealism and Neoliberalism : The Contemporary Debate, ed. Daniel A. Baldwin (New York: Columbia University Press, 1993) Moravcsik Ibid

18 building blocks of liberal institutions. 29 The theory of democratic peace, derived from liberal ideas, rests on the assumption that democracies are unlikely to attack each other, and less likely to wage wars. Liberalists see international organizations and international laws and standards as key to promoting and protecting these fundamental principles. This is evident in the OSCE s Copenhagen commitments, 30 extensive politically binding commitments on democracy and human rights as a part of what the OSCE terms the human dimension of security. A challenge to the realist lack of enthusiasm for international cooperation is liberal institutionalism, based on the belief that international institutions are a powerful force for stability, affecting state preferences and changing their behaviour. 31 While the nature of various organizations and institutions is different, neoliberal theorist Keohane states that all efforts at international cooperation take place within an institutional context of some kind. 32 He states it is in fact impossible for a liberal institutionalist to envisage contemporary international life without organizations of some kind. It is within institutions that states interact, act responsibly instead of based on their narrow self-interest, and trust other states, although he reminds us that international cooperation is not always benign. 33 Changing behaviour is entrenched in cooperating, but it also depends on others changing their behaviour. In the liberalist view the international system is a forum where various actors learn from their interactions, opposite to the realist view of a power-distribution system. For liberal institutionalists, the norms are embedded within international institutions and generated along with them, because of the demand for cooperation between states. They use international organizations to manage their interaction, be it in peace, trade or war, including post-conflict situations and security efforts. 34 According to Abbott and Snidal, the main motivations for states are centralization and independence, 35 i.e. the established structure that offers support but also the ability to act autonomously and neutrally within defined areas, such as creating norms and promoting and observing elections. International organizations 29 J. Mark Halstead, "Liberal Values and Liberal Education," in Values in Education and Education in Values, ed. J. Mark Halstead and Monica J. Taylor (London: The Falmer Press, 1996) OSCE/ODIHR, OSCE Human Dimension Commitments, (Warsaw: OSCE/ODIHR, 2005), 31 Mearsheimer Robert O. Keohane, "International Institutions: Two Approaches," International Studies Quarterly 32, no. 4 (1988) Ibid Kenneth W. Abbott and Duncan Snidal, "Why States Act through Formal International Organizations," Journal of Conflict Resolution 42, no. 1 (1998) Ibid. 5 17

19 mostly begin as a normative and consultative arrangement which takes on a more formal structure, although liberal institutionalism does not have a definite answer to why cooperation and problem solving has taken on this form and not some other. 36 These institutions are made for stability and don t generally adapt well to changes, although they, grudgingly, do. Critics argue that the motivation for international programmes and operations is less righteous; Keohane, indeed admits that some organizations are designed as means for prevailing in conflict Constructivism Constructivists, in a challenge to realism and liberalism, as well as neo-realism and neoliberalism, claim that the world, or significant parts of it, is socially constructed, rather than given by nature. 38 Constructivists see international norms as a way to govern international interaction 39 and the pursuit for benefits by states may indeed generate new norms. Constructivism is a valuable tool to analyse how norms within international institutions are generated and how they evolve through interaction within institutions but also between states. Katzenstein describes norms as collective expectations for the proper behaviour of actors with a given identity. 40 Norms are human practice; people with principled commitments that have made significant changes to the political reality. They are a dynamic change to the way we look at things, what we tolerate and what our basic values are. We notice them when they are challenged, perhaps because by then the change may already be underway, and they may change surprisingly fast. 41 Individuals follow social norms partly because not doing so would indicate what kind of a person you are, therefore, reputation is a strong incentive to adhering to norms. In politics, civil rights and civil liberties are as much protected by informal norms for what is acceptable as they are by the powers of the formal legal system. 42 Leadership is subject to norms, as leaders who violate political norms, may encounter. The power of the 36 Ibid Keohane Alexander Wendt, "Anarchy Is What States Make of It: The Social Construction of Power Politics," International Organization 46, no. 2 (1992) Susan D. Hyde, "Catch Us If You Can: Election Monitoring and International Norm Diffusion," American Journal of Political Science 55, no. 2 (2011) Peter J. Katzenstein, "Introduction: Alternative Perspective on International Security," in The Culture of National Security : Norms and Identity in World Politics ed. Peter J. Katzenstein (New York: Columbia University Press, 1996) Robert Axelrod, "An Evolutionary Approach to Norms," American Political Science Review 80, no. 4 (1986) Ibid

20 membership, be it contracts, treaties or alliances, supports and strengthens norms, Axelrod argues. It makes going against a voluntarily accepted commitment unattractive; interacting with those who are of the same views strengthens the resolve to implement the stated reasons and by establishing a group helps define the purpose of the group. 43 The firmer the norm becomes, the likelier it is to be enshrined in the law, like freedoms and civil liberties. 44 How does the state adopt and develop norms? The heart of the matter is the socially constructed identity of a state; it does not arrive with a fully created set of norms or stateness. 45 The neo-realist anarchy, where all states focus on self-help, may be reality, but this anarchy may also be a collective system of norms; anarchy is what states make of it, to quote constructivism s best known theoretical statement, by Alexander Wendt. He believes that intersubjective systemic structure between states rests on collective understanding, expectations and social knowledge, folded into international organizations. The identities of states and the social structures they create are constantly evolving. 46 Interaction at the systemic level changes state identities and interests, Wendt says, and state egoism should not be taken as given. Collective identity among states could emerge endogenously at the systemic level, generate cooperation and transform systemic anarchy into an international state a transnational structure of political authority that he sees might undermine territorial democracy. 47 In the absence of a global government, states react to changes and seek benefits of cooperating, creating norms, intentionally or unintentionally. 48 Finnemore and Sikkink point towards the reaction of state leaders to changes on the international fora, which, again, develops and creates new norms. 49 Finnemore, who has explored how states identity changes, says states are reorganized, redirected, and expanded at least in part according to shared normative understandings about what the state as a political form is supposed to do. 50 Hyde and other scholars speak of norm creation by those institutions or others who are motivated by principled ideas, such as the ideas thriving once the Cold War thawed, and whose efforts 43 Ibid Ibid Alexander Wendt, "Collective Identity Formation and the International State," The American Political Science Review 88, no. 2 (1994) Ibid Ibid Hyde Martha Finnemore and Kathryn Sikkink, "International Norm Dynamics and Political Change," International Organization 52, no. 4 (1998) Martha Finnemore, National Interests in International Society, ed. Peter J. Katzenstein, Cornell Studies in Political Economy (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1996)

21 bring about not only desired changes in state behaviour, but also develop norms by facilitating cooperation between international institutions. 51 By joining these norms, states are able to project themselves as modern states. 52 A model by Finnemore and Sikkink, often referred to, is that norms evolve through a life cycle, beginning with norm emergence, then broad norm acceptance which reaches a tipping point in a norm cascade and ends with internalization. 53 Krook and True suggest that we look at norms as processes, rather than as things, if we want to understand how they develop and diffuse. Norms diffuse because they have different meanings, fit in with a variety of contexts and are framed by different actors. However, their boundaries are largely understood as fixed: norms are taught, advocated and internalized. 54 Theories of norm diffusion abound, but here three mentioned by Krook and True are of interest: norm cascading, boomerang effect and spiral pattern. Norm cascades, is a linear process, also referred to as bandwagoning among states as increasing numbers of states adopt a new norm. According to this theory, international norms evolve in a patterned life cycle: norms emerge, gain the acceptance of a critical mass of states, and diffuse across the international community, with states converging around a common set of principles. Once conformity is widespread, the norm life cycle moves into a period of internalization, during which the norm becomes a taken-for-granted feature of domestic and international politics. 55 The boomerang effect describes cases where the state resists civil society demands, but domestic groups connect to transnational allies, who then lobby their own states and international institutions to pressure the state in question on a set of ideas and norms. This effect may initiate dramatic changes in the scope and recognition of international norms. Related to the boomerang approach is the possibility of a spiral pattern of transnational influence, with states contesting and adapting norms, which Risse et al. have described as a five-stage process of socialization of norms: domestic repression, state denial, tactical concessions, prescriptive status and rule-consistent behaviour. Movement through these stages is not necessarily linear and norm implementation may therefore halt or reverse at any time Hyde Krook Finnemore and Sikkink Krook. 55 Ibid Thomas Risse and Kathryn Sikkink, "The Socialization of International Human Rights Norms into Domestic Practices: Introduction," in The Power of Human Rights: International Norms and Domestic Change, ed. Thomas Risse, Stephen C Ropp, and Kathryn Sikkink (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999)

22 Structures are of interest to constructivists. Wendt, taking issue with neo-realists, who believe structures are made from a distribution of material capabilities, points out that structures are made of social relationships as well: shared knowledge, material resources and practices. Demonstrating the last point: The Cold War was a structure of shared knowledge that governed great power relations for forty years, but once they stopped acting on this basis, it was over. 57 Wendt explains that the social construction of international politics is an analysis of how processes of interaction produce and reproduce social structures, in cooperation and conflict, shaping identities. 58 Constructivism sees the role of international organizations as norm entrepreneurs and norm diffusers as key. Constructivists seek to uncover the social content of those organizations by decrypting how dominant norms influence their behaviour as well as that of states. Many constructivists see international organizations as agents of social construction, which may teach or develop norms, convincing states to accept new values, changing what states want or creating a want. As Finnemore points out, states do not always know what they want, their preferences are malleable. 59 In this sense, international organizations are powerful. Finnemore together with Barnett, argues that they build the social world where cooperation takes place, defining the interests that states come to hold. Their strength lies in the ability to present themselves as neutral; not exercising power, but serving the states, whether or not that is a correct rendition of reality. 60 Abbot and Snidal, in examining how international organizations facilitate cooperation, describe the process as laundering, and not only in financial, negative terms; by their existence, organizations prevent states from directly intervening in other states affairs, but allow them to contribute to conflict resolution and democracy and human rights promotion, all in the name of neutrality. Here the independence of the staff of international organizations plays a key role as their loyalties must be seen as resting with the organization or institution not the states, Eurocrats being an example of persons whose loyalties are beyond their states. 61 Constructivists are concerned with how international institutions socialize states, members and potential members. As Finnemore has pointed out, states may not always know what they want, or change their preferences, due to pressure from international organizations. Their 57 Alexander Wendt, "Constructing International Politics," International Security 20, no. 1 (1995) Ibid Finnemore Michael Barnett and Martha Finnemore, Rules for the World: International Organizations in Global Politics (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2004) Abbott and Snidal

23 reaction may, in other words, be to a particular problem that they believe needs solving, or react to a problem and a solution supplied by the international organization. 62 This may include strategic calculations, role-playing, normative suasion, but also looking at how deeply rooted norms of institutions become internalized and how they affect identities and interests of the states. At the global level, Barnett and Finnemore argue, international organizations have a certain tendency to use undemocratic procedures in promoting liberal values, something, they argue, has not particularly concerned scholars. 63 Börsel and Risse, exploring the different diffusion mechanisms of institutional change, describe how the European Union, using different methods, influences EU member states and accession states. They have identified them as coercion, using force or legal imposition; manipulating utility calculations, by providing negative and positive incentives; socialisation, persuading actors to define and redefine their interests and identities; and persuasion by promoting ideas as legitimate or true through reason-giving, particularly used in dealing with accession candidates, neighbouring countries, and in its external relations with third countries Democracy: a definition From the time of Greek historian Herodotus, democracy has meant the rule of the people. Democracy may in the simplest terms be described as a decision-making procedure in any group, where all its members have an equal right to have a say and have their opinions count. Democracy, or any other form of government, is not of particular interest in realism; 65 its focus is on how states ensure their security, not how they are governed. For liberalists on the other hand, democracy is the chosen form of government, ensuring the rights and the freedoms of citizens. Democracy in the late 20 th century and now in the 21 st has evolved significantly from the 19 th century with its very limited suffrage, excluding women and lower ranking males. Russett s classic description of democratic governance relies on a voting franchise for a substantial part of society, with a government brought to power in contested in fair, honest and periodic elections and that the executive is elected by popular vote or responsible to an elected legislature. 66 The western definition of democracy has evolved to 62 Finnemore Barnett and Finnemore Tanja A. Börzel and Thomas Risse, "From Europeanisation to Diffusion: Introduction," West European Politics 35, no. 1 (2012) Stephen D. Krasner, "Realism, Imperialism and Democracy: A Response to Gilbert," Political Theory 20, no. 1 (1992) Bruce M. Russett, with the collaboration of William Antholis, Carol R. Ember, Melvin Ember, Zeev Maoz, Grasping the Democratic Peace: Principles for a Post-Cold War World (New Jersey: Princeton, 1993)

24 include liberal values such as civil rights and economic liberty; and free elections are seen as a critical point in the democratic process. 67 Economic development increases the viability of democratic governance, as with its implicit pacifism, liberal democratic governments tend to support commerce, which promotes economic development. 68 Thus, democratic peace theory states that democracies do not wage wars with each other, although scholars have increasingly painted a more complex picture which indicates that democracies are not that peaceful after all, particularly against states they see as undemocratic. Furthermore, democratizing states may have aggressive consequences, if this process is disrupted, for instance with the rise of nationalism or increasing economic inequality. 69 Samuel Huntington s well known theory of democracy s third wave, taking place in over 50 states since the 1974 revolution in Portugal, explores the reasons for the democratic transition that occurred in a number of countries in a relatively short period of time. Three of the factors he believes have contributed to the third wave, and which are of interest in the context of this dissertation are: less legitimacy due to popular expectation for competitive elections; the snowball effect of democratic success from one neighbouring country to the next; and changes in policies of external factors, mainly international efforts by institutions or states to affect the form of government. 70 While Huntington saw the third wave as a positive development, he warned already in 1991 that there could be what he termed a third reverse wave, backsliding from democracy to authoritarianism, caused by e.g. weakening democratic values, economic setbacks, social and political polarization, breakdown of law and order or a reverse snowballing effect in other countries. 71 This reinvigoration of authoritarianism, he stated, could have unsettling effects in Eastern-Europe, including in what was at the time Yugoslavia. 72 Constructivism s interest in democracy depends in large part on development and diffusion of norms, where democracy is either the origin, creating the conditions, or a goal in itself. From a constructivist s point of view, democracies build on rule of law, the constraints of checks and balances and participatory rule of citizens, with domestic structures consisting of norms, rules and procedures. Krook and True take the gradual acceptance of election 67 Samuel P Huntington, The Third Wave. Democratization in the Late Twentieth Century. (Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma Press., 1993) Moravcsik Ibid Huntington Ibid Ibid

25 monitoring as an example of how sovereignty-based objections give in for the view that democracy and human rights are a basic entitlement. 73 In their interaction, democracies emphasize social diversity, shifting coalitions and consent of the governed and publicity of the political process shaping their practices and motivations in liberal systems. 74 Risse states that democratic systems are supposed to externalize their internal decisions-making norms and rules in their foreign policy behaviour. 75 In taking issue with the liberal democratic peace theory, he sees democracies as two-faced; while not fighting each other, they are frequently involved in disputes and wars with authoritarian regimes. 76 Barnett and Finnemore recall that scholars studying democratization, particularly in the developing world, worry that the use of democratic procedures may exceed the spread of liberal values, and by that giving space for what has been termed as illiberal democracies. 77 Fareed Zakaria, who coined the term in 1997, described it as democratically elected regimes, often ones that have been reelected or reaffirmed through referenda, are routinely ignoring constitutional limits on their power and depriving their citizens of basic rights and freedoms. 78 Historian Timothy Garton Ash likewise describes illiberal democracies as what takes place when a government elected in free and fair elections is demolishing the foundations of a liberal democracy without necessarily intending to erect a dictatorship. 79 When the term was coined in 1997, over half of the world s states were termed democratic, but Zakaria s estimate in 1997 was that 35 per cent of the world s democracies counted as illiberal, with the numbers steadily rising. Zakaria makes the point that the spread of democracy coincided with the rise of liberal values, in what he terms constitutional liberalism. but that now, the two strands of liberal democracy, interwoven in the Western political fabric, are coming apart in the rest of the world. Democracy is flourishing; constitutional liberalism is not. 80 In 2017 Garton Ash has termed the highpoint of constitutional, or liberal democracy following the fall of the Berlin-wall as the post-wall period, 81 claiming that it saw its end with the economic crisis of 2008 which brought on a democratic and European identity crisis as well Krook Thomas Risse - Kappen, "Democratic Peace Warlike Democracies?," ibid.1, no. 4 (1995) Ibid Ibid Barnett and Finnemore Fareed Zakaria, "The Rise of Illiberal Democracy," Foreign Affairs 76, no. November/December (1997). 79 Timothy Garton Ash, "Is Europe Disintegrating?," The New York Review of Books, 19 January Zakaria. 81 Garton Ash. 82 Ibid. 24

26 2.5 Summary Armed with these contradicting theories of how states interact and view international institutions, this dissertation attempts to explain the driving forces behind election observation and Serbia s reaction to it. Starting with the international institution, the OSCE, the author will use liberal theory to explain its human dimension, where election observation belongs. Liberalist thinking, and the belief that moral and ethical principles are an important part of shaping states interests, together with power relations and bargaining, springs to life in the commitments set by member states. It also sheds a light on how the definition of what democracy entails has evolved, and may be evolving still. Liberal institutionalism addresses, as the name implies, how international institutions act as a forum where states seek to solve problems by cooperating, negotiating and developing coalitions, based on their varying goals and interests, employing international law, treaties and political commitments. Liberalism, however, does not fully explain the complex interactions between states and particularly, states and institutions. The constructivist viewpoint, seeing these relations as a social construct and cultural practices where international relations are governed by norms, helps to explain how states react to institutions and indeed, to each other. Constructivist thinking helps explain how a state chooses where to cooperate and how, and how international demands change as norms develop. Constructivism also sheds a light on the multi-layered relationship between a state and institutions which aim to change behaviours and norms of states. Realist thinking is helpful, both as a counter-theory to liberalist and constructivist ideas, but also to explain the recent challenges to liberal democratic ideas, which affect state interactions and their relations with the very institutions they are part of or seek to join. 25

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