Zorica Mršević

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This paper presents the way of functioning and implementation of the local ownership principle in situations where the support of local knowledge during the process of establishment of gender equality mechanisms is lacking. Gender equality mechanisms were part of the package of international organizations’ influence over the process of democratic institutional reform in Serbia. The whole process is based on a numerous international documents that incite and justify the establishment of institutional mechanisms for gender equality at all levels of government: national, regional and local. The experience and knowledge of Western countries has contributed most to the process of formulating gender equality mechanisms and their subsequent functioning in Serbia. The lack of local knowledge production regarding the essence and role of the local ownership principle in the creation of gender equality institutions is permanent in Serbia. The concept of "learning sites", i.e. external actors becoming familiar with an internal situation has barely been applied in Serbia. The so-called "glocal" period of deep intermingling of both local and global elements did not happen. The authors argue that there was no essential "localization" of gender equality mechanisms based on domestic knowledge, and that both foreign and domestic actors are responsible for this situation: External actors because, apart from Western theory and experience, they are unaware of and/or neglect local knowledge, regardless of whether they consider it non-existent or inferior in comparison to the knowledge of Western countries. At the same time, domestic actors became quickly satisfied with the comfortable position of secondary lead stakeholders, with a role of transmitters and users of foreign concepts. They did not take advantage of the opportunities provided by the local ownership principle and did not pretend to take on either the role of creators or of relevant knowledge holders of policy-based public policies and practices.


international actors, local ownership principle, learning sites, humanitarian industry, gender equality mechanisms in Serbia, transversal policy.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.22190/FULP1801001M


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