European Research in Entrepreneurship series
Edited by Alain Fayolle and Kiril Todorov
Chapter 6: The Third Sector in Action: A Cross-border Partnership in the Western Balkans
Jovo Ateljevic INTRODUCTION This chapter explains how an NGO (non-governmental organization) engages in activities of social and institutional entrepreneurship. In this study, tourism provides the empirical context in the cross-border regional tourism development of the eastern part of the Republika Srpska1 (RS), BiH (Bosnia and Herzegovina) and western Serbia. The region, known as the Drina Valley Tourism Region (DVTR), encompasses eight municipalities, four from each side of the Drina river, which forms the border between the two countries. The regional economy is strongly dependent upon agriculture and a few tourism activities with good prospects for innovative tourism development. One of the main problems facing all the municipalities is negative population growth and an increasing number of younger people permanently leaving the region. The area also provides a specific political and historical context due to its dynamic history associated with perpetuated ethnic and religious struggles amongst the communities2 along the river since the Ottoman invasion in the fifteenth century. The dissolution of the former Yugoslavia followed by the civil war in the early 1990s revived the historical tensions that had been controlled in the former Yugoslavia. In such a context, BiH and Serbia, and particularly their periphery, which is characterized by parochial thinking combined with the legacy of the former system in which everything was centrally planned, any new initiative or disturbance of traditional thinking is an increasingly challenging task (see for example, DiMaggio, 1988). In this light, any major changes would require a large amount of both entrepreneurial and social...
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