Toward a Sociology of Irreligion in Post-Yugoslav States

Marjan Smrke


In the twenty-five years after the disintegration of Yugoslavia,
the percentage of the irreligious population has decreased sharply in all
post-Yugoslav states with the exception of Slovenia. This article attempts
to present the complexity of the topic by answering five relevant questions:
(1.) How do we distinguish between irreligiosity and religiosity in an effort
to extract and understand the subject of the sociology of irreligiosity in the
post-Yugoslav states? (2.) What has occurred in the areas of irreligiosity
and the irreligious in the past twenty-five years? (3.) How do we explain
the different trajectories observed in various post-Yugoslav states? (4.) What
are the basic socio-demographic and other characteristics of the irreligious?
(5.) What possible scenarios are there for the future of irreligiosity and the
irreligious in post-Yugoslav states? Finally, it is established that the processes
that have been observed do not refute the theory of secularization when the
latter is not meant to exclude possible processes of de-secularization (when
appropriate conditions exist).


post-Yugoslav states, irreligion, (de)secularization, civil religion, existential security, ethno-religious mobilisation

Full Text:




  • There are currently no refbacks.