Vanja Rokvić

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Faculty of Security Studies – University of Belgrade


Political discourse, military and securitization of health nexus: contemporary security challenges and the military role in public health security

The purpose of this paper is to provide answers to the questions why health is viewed through the lens of national and international security, and what might be the potential role of the armed forces in strategic response to health security challenges. Relying on theoretical settings of Foucault's discourse studies and securitization concept developed by the Copenhagen School of security studies, authors will try to illuminate the nexus between political discourse, military and securitization of health. The analysis of the political and academic discourse has found that with regard to security the most important health challenges are considered the occurrence and spread of infectious diseases, especially HIV/AIDS, and the ability to make use of biological agents as weapons. As the most important reasons why health is viewed through the lens of security are considered to be major economic losses incurred due to health crises, high mortality rates, migration, the impact of health crises on the armed forces and peacekeeping operations. The paper concluded that the armed forces play a role in the public health security through monitoring and early warning, through epidemiological and laboratory opportunities for early detection of new epidemics or pathogens, as well as through providing assistance after major natural disasters. The paper analyzes the public health and security in the Republic of Serbia, and it was concluded that it is necessary to undertake more efforts in recognizing health as a field of national security, and health risks as the risks of security.


Media and Democratic Control Over the Armed Forces In the Republic Of Serbia

State institutions (all three branches of government) have an important role in democratic control of the armed forces, together with civil society institutions among which the media, referred to as “the fourth branch of government” or “the watchdogs of democracy”, play the most important role. The armed forces need the media in order for them to inform the public about their role in society, educate the public on the issues of defense and security, as well as enable easier access to current events. For the majority of people in Serbia the media are the main source of information about what happens in society, and they influence public opinion to a great extent. However, previous research of the relations between the media and the armed forces in Serbia referred exclusively to the analysis of media content, while the media’s attitudes and knowledge of democratic control were not included. In this paper, based on the results of a pilot project carried out in 2013, we will present the extent of knowledge Serbian media have about democratic control of the armed forces, how the media evaluate their relations with the Ministry of Defense, and the basic obstacles the media encounter while exercising democratic control in practice.


The Serbian Armed Forces as the Postmodern Military

One of views in contemporary research of civil–military relations is the postmodern view of the role of the military in the post–Cold War period. Charles H. Moskos et al suggest a typology that is suitable for cross-national research of civil-military relations. These typological trends, used as variables for assessment along the lines of the modern, late modern, and postmodern paradigm, are: perceived threat; force structure; major mission definitions; media relations, homosexuals in military; dominant military professionalism; public attitude toward the military; civilian employees; women’s role; spouse and military; conscientious objection. The subject of the Moskos study were developed Western countries considered to be “advanced democracies”. We address the question of whether the typology developed by Moskos can be applied to countries in the process of transition such as the Republic of Serbia and whether the Serbian Armed Forces belong to the group of postmodern armed forces. With regard to research in the field of civil- military relations in Serbia and available data in this paper we analyzed some of the variables, such as: perceived threat; force structure; major mission definitions; dominant military professionalism; public attitude toward the military; women’s role and conscientious objection. For the purposes of this study, we analyzed the literature on civil-military relations, legal documents, reports, survey data, the data provided to us by the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Serbia, as well as the research and publications examining modern and late modern armed forces for the purposes of this study. The analysis of the mentioned documents and literature led us to conclude that the Serbian Armed Forces can be classified as postmodern armed forces based on a large number of indicators.