Problems of Coherence and Correspondence of the Goals of Croatian Public Policies: Utopia or Dystopia?

  • Krešimir Petković Izvanredni profesor na Fakultetu političkih znanosti Sveučilišta u Zagrebu
Keywords: Croatian public policies, goals, coherence, correspondence, utopia, dystopia, political liberty


Starting from the two dimensions of the concept of truth—mutual coherence of statements and the correspondence of statements with social reality—the paper analyses Croatian public policy goals based on a qualitative analysis of the state’s strategic documents. After presenting two selected categories of sectoral
objectives (social inclusion and empowerment; welfare and prevention) and four categories of value objectives of public policies (democratic legitimacy; equality and human rights; justice and rule of law; non-violence), together with examples from the national strategies, potential tensions are detected both at the level of mutual coherence of public policy goals and their correspondence at the level of their feasibility and the related social dynamics. At the level of coherence, these are: conflict between insisting on emancipation and encouraging emancipation “from above” by the state; tension between universal human rights on the one hand and democratic legitimacy, equality, and group rights at the level of the political community on the other; the problem of reciprocity of rights and duties in political systems, and the paradox of non-violence demanding state violence to be established. At the level of correspondence, these are: conflict between the
increase in the scope of rights that the state must provide in the context of unfavourable demographic and economic trends, the specific dialectic of rights and entitlements in practice that discourages autonomy and independent and subsidiary solution of problems, the logic of non-violence that potentially undermines
the security and sustainability of a political order. Based on the analysis, it is concluded that the suggested lack of mutual coherence and correspondence of public policies with social trends makes their goals too ambitious and potentially dystopian, especially in the perspective of negatively understood political liberty,
in other words–freedom.