In societies where no space exists to build up new political leaders, those who succeed in displacing the old, compromised elites emerge as veritable “paratroopers”, self-made politicians reared elsewhere. Although the contexts differ to an extent, this sequence of events is confirmed by the experiences of Montenegro, North Macedonia and Bulgaria
The arrival of a new government in Montenegro has compelled us to return to the issue of the democratic capacities of the countries of our region, which very often face lengthy periods during which a single party holds power at both the national and local levels. Under such circumstances, how can we nurture new politicians who will have enough knowledge and experience to form functional and democratic institutions and government practices? What does the experience of shifts of government in the countries of the region tell us about new leaders and where they come from, how they form themselves as political figures and what kind of contributions they provide to building democratic societies? The answers of our interlocutors firstly tell us about our own societies and their capacities for democracy, and only then tell us about new leaders who have a tormented birth.