Main topic

POLITICAL PROCESSES AND POLITICAL PARTIES

FAMILY THROUGH PROGRAM POSITIONS OF THE POLITICAL PARTIES IN SERBIA: AN OVERVIEW OF THE SECOND DECADE OF THE 21ST CENTURY

Abstract

Practically all parties in Serbia opt for a pro-birthrate policy, whereas some of them do it although there is a positive birthrate in the area of their acting (e.g. Muslim parties in the region of Raška). This is also understandable since Serbia is faced with a prominent crisis of population growth that has been negative for as many as 29 consecutive years.

The paper gives an overview and analyzes the program positions of the most influential parties in Serbia regarding family, parenthood, and family and population policies. Similarities and differences are indicated in the affiliations of the parties towards these matters and there is an attempt to classify them based on their positions to family, parenthood and birth. If the woman’s freedom to decide about having children is taken as the modernity criterion, the most conservative positions are certainly taken by the Justice and Reconciliation Party and the Party of Democratic Action of Sandžak which believe that the woman’s social status is related to the number of her children, whereas other parties as the subject of the analysis range within the framework of modern perceptions regarding the creation of the population policy. The situation is similar when it comes to family policy. All parties treat family as a traditional place for looking after children, without perceiving the data that in Serbia in 2017 every fourth child was born out of wedlock. Some of the parties see the only function of the family in having children and their upbringing – with the role of woman/mother particularly emphasized – while others appreciate the need of woman/mother and man/father equally expressing themselves both in their family and career fields, so they advocate so-called “two-breadwinner families”. The majority of the parties have elaborate plans for encouraging the creation and maintenance of families, particularly when it comes to young married couples. The programs of serious parties are fully detailed (the Progressive Party, the Socialist Party), including the position towards single-parent families as well, whereas others are less detailed and rather represent the drafts of population and family policies (United Serbia, Đilas’s Party of Freedom and Justice). The measures recommended by the parties are quite similar and involve the redistribution of the national income in favour of families, particular care for special family categories, harmonization of work and parenthood, encouraging childbirth through various forms of benefits both at the state level and the local self-government level. Except for the Socialist Party which does not have an explicit position but mentions the promotion of the rights of LGBT population, consequentially referring to the rights in the domain of family policy, other parties by default see family as a union of a man, a woman and their children. Moreover, the Socialist Party is also the only one taking into account the extramarital union as an alternative family form.

Having in mind their position towards family and population policies, and based on their program positions regarding these matters, we recommend the following classification of the political parties whose programs have been considered: a) postmodern – the Socialist Party; b) modern – the Progressive Party, the Social Democratic Party, the Democratic Party; c) populist – United Serbia; d) pragmatic – the Party of Freedom and Justice, the Alliance of Vojvodina Hungarians; e) traditional – Serbian Patriotic Alliance; and f) conservative – Justice and Reconciliation Party, the Party of Democratic Action of Sandžak

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PERIODICS Serbian Political Thought 3/2020 3/2020 УДК 329.058:316.356.2(497.11)“20“ 43-61
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