The international conference “Lost in Transition – Citizens’ Engagement with Transitional Changes in Western Balkan Societies” was held on July 6 and 7, 2013 at the premises of Iustinianus Primus Faculty of Law, Ss “Cyril and Methodius” University in Skopje. Seventeen papers were presented in five sessions at the conference by researchers from Macedonia, Serbia, Kosovo, Croatia, Hungary, Germany, and Latvia, showcasing the plurality of aspects of the transformation of Western Balkan societies in times of transition (ranging from law, politics, economy, to religion, the culture of memory, and fertility patterns).
The conference was also the occasion of the presentation of the preliminary results of the regional RRPP project “Resistance to Socio-Economic Changes in Western Balkan Societies. Testing Two Theories of Social Development” dealing with the issues of perception and evaluation of socio-economic changes in the transition period by citizens of Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia and Kosovo; with the level and types of civic and political activism in these societies; with changes in the religious fields in Western Balkan societies; and with the construction of gender roles and attitudes in them.
The conference was held in a truly exceptional creative atmosphere, with experts from various fields (sociology, philosophy, political science, law, economy, anthropology, cultural studies) exchanging opinions and bringing new insights related to the specific character of transition in Western Balkan societies, parallel processes of re-traditionalization, the first and second modernization within them, the determining role of established informal social practices and the fragility of official institutions, waves of modernizations in the past 200 years in the region, and the inability of these societies to change. It was agreed that, taking into consideration the significance of the topics discussed and the quality of the discussions, a conference proceedings be published in 2014.
The conference was organized as part of the RRPP cooperation project “Resistance to Socio-Economic Changes in Western Balkan Societies. Testing Two Theories of Social Development” carried out by the Centre for Empirical Cultural Studies of South-East Europe (Serbia), Institute for Democracy “Societas Civilis” Skopje (Macedonia), Social Research Kosova (Kosovo) and Centre for Social Research “Analitika” (Bosnia-Herzegovina).