Revue d’études comparatives Est-Ouest

Dossier: Habiter l’espace post-yougoslave

The Informal Housing of Privatnici and the Question of Class Two Stories From The Post-Yugoslav Roadside

Mišo Kapetanovića1 and Ivana Katurića2

a1 PhD Candidate, Balkan Studies, Faculty of Social Studies, University of Ljubljana,

a2 PhD Candidate, Faculty of Sociology and Social Research, University of Milan Bicocca,


Regional roads in post-Yugoslav space is characterised by colourful presence of informal housing. These structures are criticized in the media. The article challenges these criticisms by researching the relation between the informal construction and the class by looking at two cases of informal housing developments, Croatian Adriatic highway and Koridor in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The article focuses on private entrepreneurs (privatnici). In specific, it questions how are the aesthetics of the informal house negotiated and the role of urban planning is delineated through the relationship of the state, instrumentalised by already established socialist elites and privatnici, the newcomers. Consequently, it further explores how the post-socialist weakening of the state changed this aesthetic and urban developments by exposing the houses to constant economic involvement with travellers and new realities of the roadside dominated by disarrayed private interests.

Key Words:

  • Class;
  • informal housing;
  • entrepreneurs;
  • roadside;
  • apartmanisation
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