Srđan Blagojević

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Military Academy, University of Defence, Belgrade


Peacekeeping operations are one of the instruments for resolving crises in the world and preventing armed conflicts that threaten global peace and security. This article argues that the participation of the Serbian Armed Forces in UN missions contributed to peacekeeping in the world and produced positive benefits for the country. Namely, the Serbian Armed Forces inherits the tradition of many years of participation in UN and EU peacekeeping operations. This article first provides an overview of the most important contributions of the Republic of Serbia to peacekeeping operations, focusing on the important role that this activity plays in the achievement of foreign policy goals, national development and international relations. This is followed by the presentation of national legislation that regulates the Serbian Armed Forces participation in peacekeeping operations. Therefore, peacekeeping operations are recognized as a type of multilateral mechanism for achieving cooperation between the Republic of Serbia and the UN/EU and a contribution to building trust and the position of a reliable partner in international relations. The theory of international relations that explains such actions of states is the realism theory. In accordance with realists school of thought, state national interests for participation in peacekeeping operations are military security issues, national and strategic interests as well as economic interests, and increased credibility and power of states in international relations. Starting from the fact that global security is comprehensive and indivisible, states are even more interested in participating in peacekeeping operations and perceive it as their national interests and an element of foreign and security policy. This is the initial thesis from which the authors base their analysis presented in the paper.



Compulsory conscription in Serbia was established in the 19th century, and the military as a social institution rapidly became an indispensable part of the socialization process of citizens. It remained so until 2011, which lent credibility to the strategic considerations of deterrence and total defense of that time. The return of war to European soil actualizes the issue of society's readiness for defense in many European countries. Serbian society has changed significantly in the two previous decades, becoming largely described by Bauman's fluid modernity, and the capacity of citizens for armed and unarmed resistance in the event of war has significantly declined. Starting from the assumption that the suspension of the compulsory conscription remains valid, the authors examine the possibilities for increasing the interest of young people in voluntary military service, which is the subject of this paper. The aim of the paper is to show the necessity, justification and content of state incentives for young people who opt for military service, as well as to point out their probable social consequences. The theoretical framework of the work is the theory of the network society of Manuel Castells and his understanding of individuation as a cultural tendency of modern society that differs from individualism. The authors conclude that increasing interest in voluntary military service is possible by connecting individual projects of citizens with military service as part of a common, social ideal in Serbia. State incentives for voluntary military service and, subsequently, participation in the active and passive reserves, could be divided into three groups. The first would be incentives related to employment, the second would be cooperation between the state and civic initiatives and organizations, and the third would be incentives related to business and tax incentives.