“The Return of Utopia: Socialist Strategies Today”

International Conference


The Centre for the Politics of Emancipation is inviting to the conference which aims to reflect on ways of organizing resistance against the dominant system of social relations through deliberation of conditions, spaces and practices required for creating a political entity which would successfully impose an alternative to capitalism.


The program was developed in collaboration with Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung SEE and transform! europe and with the support of the Ilija M. Kolarac Foundation and the Museum of Yugoslav History.  

By engaging in discussions, the conference will attempt to offer an analysis of the current political situation in which the left-wing movements and general society are in, but also to encourage the discussion regarding the directions for development of socialist idea and practice, not only on a local level, but also on an international one.

Lately the global political and economic situation has imposed the need for reconsideration and strengthening of the critique of neo-liberal models and power structures. In this context socialist ideas are being revitalized.

However, this revitalization has to face the legacy of the socialist past. Revaluation of egalitarian projects of the 20th century contributes to the building of socialism today. In order to achieve accurate methodological analysis of past experiences, we must take into consideration the positive, as well as the negative aspects of the real-socialist forms of regulations. Still, socialist strategies today must be developed for the specific contemporary political and economic context of the global capitalist system. Therefore, the comprehensive analysis of the general social situation, but also of the potentials and the opportunities for the development of the socialist movement, represents the primary task today.

Regarding this, the presumption of a vital socialist movement is therefore a construction of a socialist idea as a real utopia which seeks, not only to limit, but also to overcome the capitalist power.


Nikoleta Kosovac, nikoleta.kosovac@gmail.com, +381606423817
Vladimir Simović, vlad.simovic@gmail.com, +381603236375
Darko Vesić, darkoresound@gmail.com, +381606671555
Tanja Vukša, tandzik@gmail.com, +381600489028
Iva Janković, iva.jankovic@gmail.com, +381637235622


Tuesday, 15.11.2016

Organizers: Center for the Politics of Emancipation, Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung SEE

Venue: Kolarac People’s University Building, Studentski trg 5

17:00 Bhaskar Sunkara – Breaking the Two Party System: Building a Viable Socialist Politics in the United States

18:30 Break

19:00 Margit Mayer – The Potential of Urban Social Movements in the Neoliberal Context

21:00 Dinner @SC Oktobar (Strahinica bana 33)


Wednesday, 16.11.2016

Organizers: Center for the Politics of Emancipation, Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung SEE

Venue: Kolarac People’s University Building, Studentski trg 5

16:30 Presentation of papers on water and healthcare system in Serbia

17:30 Break

18:00 Hilary Wainwright – Feminism and the Rethinking of Socialism

19:30 Break

20:00 Leo Panitch – Utopia, Strategy, Democracy: Transformative Challenges for the Left

22:00 Dinner @SC Oktobar (Strahinica bana 33)


Thursday, 17.11. 2016

Organizers: Center for the Politics of Emancipation, transform! europe

Venues: Social center Oktobar (Strahinjića bana 33), Museum of Yugoslav History (Botićeva 6)

Closed sessions participants: Dagmar Svendova (transform! europe), Walter Baier (transform! europe), Haris Golemis (transform! europe, Nicos Poulantzas Institute, Greece), Anej Korsika (IDS, Slovenia), Jelena Miloš (BRID, Croatia), Deni Sanxhaku (Organizata Politike, Albania), Artan Sadiku (Solidarnost, Macedonia), Marko Miletić (Mašina, Serbia), Vida Knežević (Mašina, Serbia), Jelena Veljić (SC Oktobar, Serbia), Predrag Momčilović (Green Youth, Serbia), Florin Poenaru (CriticAtac, Romania), Madlen Nikolova (New Left Perspectives, Bulgaria), Luka Matić (Radnička fronta, Croatia), Leo Panitch, Bhaskar Sunkara, Wenke Christoph (RLS SEE), Ksenija Forca (RLS SEE) + CPE members

Balkan is usually perceived as a region ridden by nationalism and ethnic conflicts. Aura of the 1990s is still surrounding this part of Europe. Although the nationalism is one of the major problems, by overemphasizing it there is a danger of neglecting socioeconomic development of the region and the roll of this part of European periphery in reproduction of contemporary capitalist relations. Political and economic interconnection between core countries of Europe and the Balkan countries is often insufficiently highlighted even in the left-wing circles. Domination of FDI logics made the post-socialist societies politically and economically dependent in relation to stronger economies. Even though parts of the Balkans are not members of EU, EU regulations and institutions to a large degree shape local political and economic context.

There is a wide left-wing movement developing in the Balkans. The fall of socialism led to demonization of the left perspectives. After the 1990s there was no infrastructure on which new left could lean on. The new left-wing scene started developing from student circles and started building political alternative to the current situation from the scratch. Now there is a huge network of different organizations that include students, workers, feminist and ecological organizations. Beside the Slovenia the rest of the region still doesn’t have left-wing party. The lack of party infrastructure makes left-wing forces less visible and recognized even by the vast majority of the European left.

10:00 Closed Session 1 @SC Oktobar


Preliminary analysis of the current economic and political situation – Can we recognize and politicize interconnections?

11:30 Coffee break

12:00 Closed Session 2 @SC Oktobar

How to strengthen cooperation? Reflecting and debating the conditions, possibilities and strategies for strengthening capacities of the Left

14:00 Lunch @SC Oktobar

Public event @MYH

16:00 Tour through the Museum of Yugoslav History

17:00 Balkan Movements from Below – Perspectives from the Left

Artan Sadiku (Solidarnost, Macedonia)
Deni Sanxhaku (Organizata Politike, Albania)
Jelena Miloš (BRID, Croatia)
Jelena Veljić (SC Oktobar, Levi samit Srbije, Serbia)

18:30 Break

19:00 The Future of the EU – Perspectives from the Left

Anej Korsika (IDS, Slovenia)
Walter Baier (transform! europe)
Tatjana Maksimović (SC Oktobar, Levi samit Srbije, Serbia)

21:00 Dinner @SC Oktobar