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Poznań, Poland - Morasko Kampus, room: 2.19
Intended Measures, (Un)intended Consequences, Unavoidable Outcomes: Three Case Studies Addressing the Paradoxes of Neoliberal Reconfigurations in Contemporary Serbia
Following Geertz's dictum that we must address the splinters in a splintered world, in this paper I propose to analyse three differing, though subtly interconnected mini case studies. All three address, albeit in various ways, the issues of (un)solidarity, (failure of) consensus, material adjustments and survival strategies under partial and paradoxical neoliberal reconfigurations in contemporary Serbia. The first addresses paradoxes related to forms of access to state owned agrucultural land which were officially intended to support those who were most in need of cheap land, but which due to a complex interplay of state regulations and undercover machinations actually further the interests of the organisationally and financially capable “greedy.” The second treats the paradoxical outcomes of policy reforms dealing with issues of disability, whereby the doctrinary enforcement of the social model, coupled with a policy of inclusion that neglects social realities, and campaigns against supposedly incapacitating forms of institutional support which were seen as a legacy of socialism leave certain individuals with disabilities with less resources than they could get access to before the reforms. The third case puts forward issues of bureaucratic whimsicalities and corruption which block access to rural development funds to an experimental ecological tourism initiative set up by an urban couple who decided to “return to nature.” In all three cases, in order to cope with the (un)intended consequences of neoliberalising reforms, some of which were not fully or adequately implemented, the informants had to devise semi-legal or outright illegal evading strategies.