Božo Skoko

PhD Božo Skoko

Božo Skoko is an full professor at the Faculty of Political Science of the University of Zagreb, where he is head of the Public Relations postgraduate study. His scientific interests are: public relations and communications, international relations, national identity and image, as well as media. He is the co-founder of Millenium promocija, the leading Croatian public relations agency. He is a long-time strategic communications consultant. He is a former journalist and editor with Croatian Television. He is the author of seven books and over seventy scientific papers on public relations, the media and managing the identity and image of Croatia. He is a columnist with the daily newspaper Večernji list.
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New Book AGM Publishes Božo Skoko's Book - Croatia and Its Neighbors

New Book AGM Publishes Božo Skoko's Book - Croatia and Its Neighbors

Božo Skoko's new book entitled Croatia and Its Neighbors - How Croatia Is Perceived in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia, Slovenia and Serbia has been released. The book deals with the image of Croatia in the region, and publishes the results of extensive field research, as well as the analyses of reports about Croatia in the region. The publisher is AGM, while the co-publisher is Novelti Millenium. The book was published as part of the newly established Croatian Identity series, and thanks to cooperation with Večernji list, it will be available for purchase at newspaper stands at the popular price of only 39.00 HRK.

The book "Croatia and Its Neighbors" is concerned with the mutual relations of the countries that were formed after the disintegration of Yugoslavia, and researches in a scholarly manner the image of Croatia in the region.

Is Croatia really the regional leader? How is Croatia perceived by its neighbors and on what basis do they build their perceptions? How have the wars burdened the image of Croatia in Serbia? In what country is Croatia most popular? What are Croatia's most significant "export" values? How is Croatia perceived by citizens whose last visit to our country was in the 1980s, and by those who were born during the war? What historical stereotypes about Croatians are still present in public opinion, and which were "launched" by the war? Who do individual nations consider responsible for all of the evil that occurred in the 1990s? Why are the Adriatic Sea and the Croatian coast the largest magnet for all nations from the area of the former Yugoslavia? Who do Macedonians, Serbians, Slovenians, Montenegrins, as wells as Bosnians and Herzegovinians have the most faith in when talking about Croatia, and what do they know about our historical greats and about Croatia's efforts related to full membership in the European Union? How do the media of the region report about Croatia, and how does their picture of Croatia differ from the public opinion of citizens in those countries? These are only some of the questions to which this book, in a systematic and analytical manner, with numerous arguments, provides answers.

The author has conducted two highly complex studies - an extensive field study of public opinion, literally from "Vardar to Triglav", as well as an analysis of media reporting about Croatia in six countries formed after the disintegration of Yugoslavia. This is also the largest such study ever conducted in our part of the world, and its most attractive and most important results were published in the book. Bearing witness that the book is coming at the right moment is the fact that ten years have passed since the end of all conflicts in the area of the former country, as well as twenty years since the disintegration of Yugoslavia and the start of the independent roads of the former republics.

This book provides a clear picture of what kind of impact the disintegration of Yugoslavia, Serbian aggression, the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the defensive war in Croatia left on mutual perceptions, that is, with what kind of prejudices and heritage are we stepping into the future. The book is concerned with the countries with which, until recently, we shared the challenges of living together within the framework of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Today, these countries represent significant export markets, tourist-generating areas, as well as significant political and economic partners, with which we will, given geographical conditions, share our future in this part of the world, within the European Union or independently from it.

The image of Croatia in the world is a topic receiving growing attention, however, there are few academic papers that deal with this issue. The image of Croatia in the region, that is, in the countries of the former Yugoslavia is a topic that has not been covered whatsoever to date. Contrary to the lack of academic interest for this issue, the opinion of Croatia's neighbors about the Republic of Croatia is becoming increasingly important on its road toward full membership in the European Union, during which it is attempting to take on the role of leader, as well as spread its political and economic influence in the region.

The book is divided into two sections. Analyzed in the first are the relations between Croatia and its neighboring countries through a social and historical context. The author takes us through the history of Croatia's "joining" Yugoslavia, the advantages and disadvantages of life together, Croatia's road to independence, as well as the war and post-war period. The author particularly analyzes the political and economic cooperation of Croatia with the countries of the region, as well as familiarizes us with the highs and lows of mutual relations. Of particular value is the systematic overview of studies published to date on the image of Croatia and Croatians in countries of the region, as well as a study on the root of "historical" stereotypes Serbians have about Croatians in the texts of Serbian intellectuals throughout history.

The other large section presents the results of the studies, along with their interpretation written in a popular and understandable style. The final chapter deals with the possibilities of the regional branding of Croatia and Croatia's missed opportunities to assert itself as regional leader.

The results presented by this exceptional book reveal the huge potential, as well as obstacles in mutual relations, and point to the possibility of strengthening those relations, and enhancing the management of Croatia's image in the region. Benefit from this study is gained not only by the political actors, but also by other interest groups, especially businesspersons, to which the region represents an attractive market. Citizens on the other hand with this book gain interesting content (read at one sitting) about how "they see us and the reasons why".