МА Nikola Perišić

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Nikola Perišić, Research Trainee at the Institute for Political Studies, graduated and mastered at the Faculty of Political Sciences in Belgrade, where he is currently pursuing his doctoral studies. In the period from 2019 to 2023, he was a student-demonstrator in the subjects Stylistics and Rhetoric. Since 2022, he has been employed at the Institute for Political Studies as a researcher-intern. The field of scientific interest primarily refers to political communication, but also to all other areas that affect political communication, such as political, electoral and party systems, media, stylistic-rhetorical procedures and discourse. He has published several scientific papers in various domestic and international journals and anthologies in these areas. So far, he has participated in dozens of projects and led various types of educational programs at the domestic and international level.

INTER-UNIVERSITY COOPERATION BETWEEN FRANCE AND BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA - STUDENT MOBILITY AND THE ROLE OF THE FRENCH EDUCATION SYSTEM IN STRENGTHENING HIGHER EDUCATION IN BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA

Higher education plays a key role in the development of a country and society. Cooperation between different universities and educational institutions at the international level is important for enriching the educational experience of students, sharing knowledge and innovation, and promoting cultural diversity. This scientific paper examines the scope of the influence of the French Republic and its educational model on the development of higher education in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The specificity of Bosnia and Herzegovina is reflected in the multiculturalism that dominates, but also in the fact that this country has been constituting itself for the last few decades. In order to represent the interests and needs of different groups in the most successful ways, Bosnia and Herzegovina applied the existing examples of good practice from France in various social spheres, among others in the field of education. The French education system is one of the world's most successful higher education systems. In addition, the French state, through various incentives such as donations or scholarships to the best students, influenced the development and institutionalization of universities around the world. The basic hypothesis on which this work is based is that inter-university cooperation between France and Bosnia and Herzegovina contributes to the improvement of the quality of higher education, especially in terms of academic excellence and research capacities of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The method on the basis of which the hypothesis is tested is the method of technology and knowledge transfer techniques, and the comparative method will be used as an additional method.

PERIODICS

LOCAL ELECTIONS IN THE REPUBLIC OF SERBIA 2016 AND 2020 - POLITICAL CONSEQUENCES OF LOWERING THE ELECTORAL THRESHOLD

The paper examines the political consequences of the change in electoral legislation through a comparative analysis of election results at the local level in 2016 and 2020. In addition to the analysis of the election results themselves, and bearing in mind the boycott of the majority of the opposition in the 2020 elections, the paper will also show a simulation of the election results of 2016 with a reduced electoral threshold of 3% in order to better understand the effect of lowering the electoral threshold, considering that at that time all relevant political parties participated in local elections. The electoral results from cities that are the seat of administrative districts (24) in the Republic of Serbia, excluding the city of Belgrade and Kosovo and Metohija, are used as a sample for the analysis. The main findings of the research show that the lowering of the electoral threshold did not increase representativeness. More precisely, the number of lists represented in local parliaments did not increase, neither in absolute nor in effective numbers. However, the impact of the boycott of the opposition parties in the 2020 election process should be taken into account. On the other hand, the analysis shows that a larger number of lists would have crossed the electoral threshold if the three-percent electoral threshold had been applied in 2016. In addition, in 2020, a smaller number of so-called "wasted votes" was observed. Lastly, lowering the electoral threshold did not help the citizens groups to achieve better election results in 2020.

CHANGES TO THE LEGAL ELECTORAL THRESHOLD AND ITS EFFECTS ON REPRESENTATION OF NATIONAL MINORITY PARTIES - LOCAL ELECTIONS IN SERBIA IN 2020

The legal electoral threshold of 5% of valid votes has functioned in the Serbian electoral system for virtually two decades. Since 2004, it has not been applied to the electoral lists of national minority parties. In one cycle of local elections, in 2004, it was reduced to 3%. Ahead of the parliamentary, local and regional elections in 2020, negotiations between the government and the opposition on the conditions for free and fair elections resulted in a unilateral decision by the government to reduce the election threshold at all levels to 3%. In order to preserve the number of representatives of national minority parties, the law introduced a bonus—the quotients of national minority parties are increased by 35% when converting votes into seats using the highest quotient method. Greater representativeness is the basic argument that justifies this great electoral reform. However, the real motive behind this electoral engineering was to weaken the announced boycott of the elections by the opposition. This solution was criticized as contrary to the constitutional principles of equality of suffrage and non-discrimination. Additionally, there were worries that it could lead to fragmentation of the party system and situations where a party that has crossed the electoral threshold is left without a representative. The authentic interpretation of the law explains that the bonus will be applied only if the parties of national minorities do not cross the legal electoral threshold, and only for local elections. The paper analyzes the political consequences of lowering the electoral threshold in local elections in the context of proclaimed goals. The data shows that there was no increase in the number of national minority parties in the elections. As a rule, parties of national minorities won a larger number of seats in local assemblies. This is especially pronounced with the Alliance of Vojvodina Hungarians as the dominant party of this national minority. That growth is lower in the corps of Bosniaks and Albanians, where there is more pronounced party competition and growth is lower. Through this mechanism, the parties of smaller national minorities have become more visible in local assemblies through If the authentic interpretation had not been applied, the number of deputies of national minority parties would have increased further, and in some areas, the balance of power in forming the majority in local parliaments would have changed. Due to the boycott of the elections and the pandemic that caused lower turnout, the full effect of the new mechanism in the electoral system remained muted. The political consequences will be more visible and clearer after the next election cycle, when the actors will better analyze their potential.