Garčević Interviewed on Role of Serbian Orthodox Church in Montenegro

In an interview with Voice of America Balkans Service (VOA), Ambassador Vesko Garčević, Professor of the Practice of International Relations at Boston University’s Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies, discussed the influence of the Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC) in Montenegro’s political sphere and on the current government.

In the article, titled “Vesko Garčević: Dvostruki, sve snažiji uticaj SPC na crnogorsku politiku od izbora 2020 (Vesko Garčević: Double, increasingly strong influence of the Serbian Orthodox Church on Montenegrin politics since the 2020 elections),” Garčević explained conclusions from his recently published paper, “The Orthodox Church, Montenegro, and the Serbian World,” with the most important being the sudden rise of the SPC’s power after the 2020 elections, in which the Democratic Party of Socialists, who was in power from 1990-2020, was defeated. Commenting on the impact of the SPC in society, Garčević observed that:

“[The Church’s] influence can be seen in two directions.One is direct, which is visible, and about which a lot has been written.The second is that it supports a certain kind of ideology and political activism.Parties that want to gain the support of the church simply incorporate that kind of ideology into their political activities.So we can talk about the emergence of further strengthening of nationalism, as well as the tightening of attitudes towards the LGBTQ population and all minority groups.”

Garčević also touched on the pervasiveness of the SPC outside of Montenegro. While he believes that “Montenegrin society has become a unit ruled by the SPC,” Garčević explained that the Church has influence in neighboring countries like Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Kosovo, and most significantly, Serbia. The institutionalization of the Church has allowed it to become an important network within the region and expand the concept of the greater Serbian World.

The full article can be read here.

Ambassador Vesko Garčević dealt with issues pertinent to European security and NATO for almost 14 years during his diplomatic career. In 2004, he was posted in Vienna to serve as Ambassador to Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. He was Montenegro’s Ambassador to NATO from 2010 until 2014 and served as Montenegro’s National Coordinator for NATO from 2015 until he joined the faculty at the Pardee School. Learn more about Ambassador Garčević on his faculty profile.