Interest Pressure Group and Legislation: Expansion of Veterans Welfare Legislation in Croatia

Thursday, 14 July 2016: 11:09
Location: Hörsaal 17 (Juridicum)
Oral Presentation
Antonija PETRICUSIC, University of Zagreb, Croatia
Sinisa ZRINSCAK, Faculty of Law, University of Zagreb, Croatia
Ivana DOBROTIC, Faculty of Law, University of Zagreb, Croatia
War veterans in Croatia constitute a significant social group with articulated interests and high degree of organization. Being a powerful identity and interest group (numbering approximately 500.000 persons in a country of 4,5 million inhabitants) they managed to secure an array of legislative solutions that assure rights and benefits, both to them individually as well as to members of their families. A scarce previous research on the war veteran protection system revealed it has been primarily focused on compensation (assuring the rights within pension, health and social care systems), rather than on the development of reintegration of former soldiers into the working environment in wider society. This presentation will discuss the development of a robust postwar welfare by analysing the veterans’ demands toward public policies (health, housing, education, pension system, etc.), and by discussing the societal circumstances in which war veterans gained expansion of their rights. The particular attention will be devoted to mobilization methods they were deploying in order to pressure for or against legislative amendments. By presenting war veterans as an interest pressure group and by analysing methods used, we will demonstrate how they were able to actively take part in a decision making process; how they have influenced the legislature to promote their interest; and how they managed to leverage the distribution of political power in a society.