© Slobodna Dalmacija

Vjeran Katunarić

Professor of sociology at the Department of Sociology of the University of Zadar

From 1978 to 2010 Vjeran Katunarić was assistant professor and then associate and full professor in the Department of Sociology in the Faculty of Philosophy in Zagreb. His research focus was on migration (1973-1980), and later on ethnic relations and cultural policies in multiethnic societies, particularly in the Balkans. He was a visiting professor on different universities in the USA (1985, 2000) and Sweden (1992-1993), and also a cultural policy expert, rapporteur and consultant of the Council of Europe (1999-2003), an expert in intercultural dialogue project funded by the European Commission (2008), and an expert in the research project on civic education in the EU countries, funded by the European Parliament (2016).

He teaches different courses in sociology – Multiethnic societies (BA); Historical sociology, Classical sociological theories of culture (within international MA joint degree program in cultural sociology); and Theory building in sociology (MA), and Theories of local and regional level (PhD level within International joint degree programme in Sociology of local and regional development).


He is also author of numerous works. Titles of the books published recently include:

- Cultural Policy in Croatia. Co-editor with  Biserka Cvjetičanin. Strasbourg: Council of Europe, 1999, 273 pp.

- Sporna zajednica. Novije teorije o naciji i nacionalizmu (The Contested Community. Newer Theories of Nations and Nationalism). Zagreb: Jesenski i Turk, Hrvatsko sociološko društvo, 2003. 335 pp.

- Lica culture (The Faces of Culture). Zagreb: Izdanja Antibarbarus, 2007, 476 pp.

- Putovi modernih društava: izazov historijske sociologije. Zagreb (The Roads of the Modern Societies: The Challenges of Historical Sociology): Izdanja Antibarbarus, Sveučilište u Zadru, 2012. 241 pp.

- Svjetski antibarbarus. O uzrocima propasti prošlog i nadolaska novog socijalizma The World Antibarbarus. Cause of the Decline of the Former and the Coming of a New Socialism. Zagreb: Društvo „Povijest izvan mitova“, 2013. 282 pp.

- Rajska zajednica i društveni pakao. Sociološki eseji 1982-2011. (Heavenly Community and Societal Hell. Sociological Essays 1982-2011). Zagreb: Nacionalna zajednica Crnogoraca u Hrvatskoj, Disput, 2013.386 pp.

E-Mail: vjeran.katunaric@zg.t-com.hr


The Elective Affinities toward Non-Democracy?

According to an old adage, the new ruling classes in modern societies are anxious to imitate the preceding ruling classes (cf. Tocqueville, 2000[1856]; Derber, 2016). This tendency manifested itself in conspicuous consumption by the newly enriched social strata beginning in the West. Their counterparts in the communist countries were political leaders with personal ties to higher-level managers, both of whom could afford cars, villas and other assets that were inaccessible to most people. In parallel to the material enrichment of the Western and the Eastern upper strata, some ideological changes happened, which had not been immediately apparent. Eventually, the legendary couple of the modern revolutions – Freedom & Equality – became an irritant to the ruling groups. These, meanwhile, had contributed to building an almost impermeable class system. In a hardly changeable social reality, retro became chic, including the image of the old nobility. Thus, the old enemy of democracy became a dark object of desire for the new classes in democracy.

Basically, the same is true for a mass of workers who emigrated from the (former) socialist Yugoslavia in 1960s – their main goal, actually, was ceasing to be workers anymore. By the same token, the “neo-feudal tendency to striving up” has replaced the older tendency of workers to participation and self-management, i.e. the economic democracy. Therefore, some important premises for a new authoritarian age were built in the modern democracies as their alter ego.

Programme: Panel 3, Wednesday, 5 September 2018, 14:30-16:00