Predrag Terzić

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Faculty of Political Sciences, Belgrade University



Dealing with the state is as old as the state itself. Its origin, development and constitutional structure show the extent to which the state issue is important in theoretical thought. There are a large number of topics in the literature that try to explain the essence of the state issue, starting from individual aspects of its functioning. There does not seem to be an author, in legal and political theory, who has not tried to make a go in this field. The giant of our legal, political, sociological, literary, historical thought, Slobodan Jovanović made the same attempt. He meticulously dealt with the issue of the state in a deliberative style, respecting the theoretical achievements of his predecessors and contemporaries. Inspired by the ideas of the French educators, about whom he also wrote, Slobodan Jovanović pointed to the material and spiritual dimension of the internal and external structure of the state. His exceptional knowledge of the social and political circumstances in the country inspired the propositions of future solutions to important state issues. Thus, the breadth and depth of Slobodan Jovanović's theoretical thought is greater, because the readers of his works are offered valuable reading that transcends spatial and temporal frameworks. He did not belong to the authors who dealt with important theoretical issues with a lead-heavy pen, but with a conversational style that enables a wider circle of readers to get to know the matter. That is why Professor Stevan Vračar rightly included Slobodan Jovanović in the ranks of personalities who make up the valuable scientific heritage of the Serbian people and state.



Differentiating the ideal from the typical state, Slobodan Jovanovic talks about the emergence of the state, its elements and tasks, the relationship between state and law, state federations and federal state. While defending economic freedom and the principle of free market, the individualistic, liberal school opposes state interventionism, Jovanovic believes that the state must not remain neutral, because the market competition occurs not only between individuals, but also between different classes, which tend to subjugate one another. However, Slobodan Jovanovic denied the exploitation of peasants, which Svetozar Markovic spoke of, because there was no link between public servants and peasants in economic dependence, as in the relationship between workers and owners of means of production. Jovanovic also dealt with the political views of Pera Todorovic and one of the leaders of the Progressive Party, Milan Piroćanac, but also with the ideas of Plato, Machiavelli, Berk, and Marx. Jovanovic points out that Plato's state has little to do with democratic political order, but draws comparisons with the ideologies of the twentieth century, fascism and Bolshevism. While the resemblance to fascism stems from opposition to democratic individualism, both Bolshevism and Plato's idealism oppose plutocracy and advocate the dictatorship of the minority. The Enlightenment philosophy, its idealistic belief in reason, the rejection of tradition and experience, along with Rousseau's understanding of anthropological optimism, were the drivers of French revolutionary aspirations. In contrast to the abstract revolutionary principles of freedom, fraternity and equality, Edmund Berk prefers history, tradition and experience. Exploring the Serbian constitutional issue during the nineteenth century, Slobodan Jovanovic analyzes the socio-political circumstances of the emergence of constitutional texts, theoretical influences, foreign role models, but also the work of great powers when writing constitutional drafts and in the first days of their validity.


King Milan Obrenović: Among the Political Elite, the Masses and Great Powers

After his crowning in 1882, Milan Obrenović became the first king In modern history of Serbia. Given the level and type of Milan’s participation in the government, there are three very different periods of his reign. While in the first period tripartite state governorships governed instead of the minor ruler, in the second priod Milan governed by himself. The third period came only after his abdication in 1889. Although he was the former king, during one part of the reign of King Alexander, Milan played an important political role, and even can be said to have been some kind of co-ruler with his son.