DISCURSIVE GOVERNMENTAL AND MEDIA RESPONSE TO COVID-19: THE CASE OF SERBIA

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SRĐAN MLADENOV JOVANOVIĆ

Abstract

Serbia’s government, led by Aleksandar Vučić, has in scholarship been classified as semi-authoritarian, using Marina Ottaway’s classification. Its media have also been described as being in heavy, biased support of the government. Scholarship has further revealed that the Vučić-led, post-2012 government, has thrown the country backwards in time, with corruption and affairs being the primary instance by which the regime can be described. Expectedly, the response of the government and the government-supporting media to the COVID-19 pandemic has been less than professional. The initial response included official government press conferences in which the novel coronavirus was deemed to be ’funny’ and that, in the middle of the pandemic explosion and increased deathrate in Italy, Serbia’s population was advised to go to Italy for ’shopping’. The media furthermore tried to pin the pandemic to Serbia’s opposition alleged attempts to topple the government via ’coronavirus propaganda’. This article proposes to tackle the government’s and their supporting media’s responses to COVID-19 in February/March 2019 from a Discourse Analytical perspective.

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JOVANOVIĆ, S. M. (2020). DISCURSIVE GOVERNMENTAL AND MEDIA RESPONSE TO COVID-19: THE CASE OF SERBIA. Society Register, 4(2), 95-108. https://doi.org/10.14746/sr.2020.4.2.07
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Articles
Author Biography

SRĐAN MLADENOV JOVANOVIĆ, Nankai University

Srđan Mladenov Jovanović is an interdisciplinary historian and political scientist, living and working in Tianjin, China, as an Associate Professor at the College of History, Nankai University. Prior to moving to China, he taught and/or conducted research at Lund University (Sweden), the Polish Academy of Sciences’ Institute for Advanced Study (Poland), Palacky University Olomouc (Czech Republic), University of Košice (Slovakia), New Europe College (Romania), and Istanbul Sehir University (Turkey). He is the author of a number of research articles and several books, as well as the holder of numerous fellowships on an international levels. He speaks English, Serbo-Croatian, Czech, and Swedish, with working knowledge of Russian, German, Polish, Slovak, Italian, and Mandarin.

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