NSI’s Getting to Know Series: An Insightful Conversation with Radmila Nakarada


Welcome to another entry in our Getting to Know NSI series, where Ivor Chipkin, our Co-Founder and Executive Director, conducts insightful interviews with individuals shaping our institution. These dialogues provide a glimpse into the diverse expertise and perspectives that guide the New South Institute’s work.

Following on from interviews with our advisors Pratap Bhanu Mehta and Taibat Lawanson, we now invite you to join a fascinating conversation with our distinguished fellow Radmila Nakarada, sociologist and Professor Emeritus at the University of Belgrade. The full interview is available for viewing on our YouTube channel.

Radmila has made substantial contributions to the NSI, wearing many hats within our organization. Not only is she leading our office in Belgrade, but she has also worked collaboratively with fellow NSI members on notable projects. Most recently, in June 2023, the online magazine Brave New Europe published an insightful interview conducted by Radmila and Jelena Vidojević with William I. Robinson. In March of the same year, Radmila and Jelena co-authored an impactful report titled “Empowering the Periphery: An Analysis of Post-Conflict Transitions in South Africa and the Republic of Serbia.

The latest interview with Radmila Nakarada, facilitated by Ivor Chipkin, takes us on an intriguing exploration of statehood, identity, and societal challenges through the lenses of both South Africa and Yugoslavia. It delves into the complexity of Yugoslavia’s history and the balancing act between centralization and decentralization that set the stage for later challenges. Radmila eloquently unpacks how the diminution of federal control led to the rise of secessionist movements in Yugoslavia and the role that a fractured identity played in the dissolution of the state.

The conversation shifts focus to South Africa, examining the fragile equilibrium between unity and fragmentation. They discuss the disparities in institutional performance, extreme inequality, and the formation of isolated enclaves, all of which contribute to the multifaceted challenges the country faces. A key emphasis is placed on the need for solidarity, particularly in the South African context. Radmila draws parallels with Switzerland’s peaceful coexistence of various ethnic groups, illustrating the importance of a shared identity for societal cohesion. The exchange also highlights the perils of social disengagement, pointing to the growing emergence of separate communities and the subsequent obstacles it presents in creating a unified society.

This installment in our Getting to Know NSI series provides an intellectually stimulating examination of the challenges facing South Africa and Yugoslavia, reinforcing the need for common ground, solidarity, and open dialogue in building resilient, inclusive communities. We invite you to watch the full interview on our YouTube channel and engage with the rich insights it offers. Also, don’t forget to catch up on the previous interviews with Pratap Bhanu Mehta and Taibat Lawanson.

The conversations within the Getting to Know NSI series further amplify the importance of the New South Institute’s role in providing a collaborative platform to discuss and navigate complex global issues. We look forward to continuing this series and shedding more light on the people and projects that make up our institute.

Related Content