Our friend and comrade Ivan Radenković left this earth on 30 May 2018. Born and raised in the eastern Serbian industrial city of Bor, Ivan spent most of his life addressing and understanding the social question in Serbia and Yugoslavia. As a scholar, he was particularly interested in the economic relations of capitalist restoration in Serbia. His critical study on the concept of foreign direct investment – a kind of state ideology in the post-Yugoslav states – has become a standard reference work on the subject. Ivan was also highly engaged as an activist: in the Novi Sad student movement, as a co-founder of the left-wing collective "Gerusija" and author for its magazine, Stvar, but also in debates around radically re-orienting Serbian trade union policies. Nevertheless, Ivan’s most intensive and passionate activity was conducted with the Roma Forum of Serbia, a partner organization of the RLS Southeast Europe office in Belgrade. Defending the rights of Serbia’s Roma population and their social and economic rights in particular was a major concern of Ivan’s. His contribution to the political organization of the Roma people in Serbia will remain of incalculable value for years to come.
Ivan was always a determined and clear discussion partner, but also undogmatic and open-minded. In personal conversations he was always warm and positive, irrespective of lines of division within the left. Ivan’s commemoration at the Novi Sad city cemetery on 1 June 2018 was a positive sign for the same reason: everyone was there, not only Serbia’s radical left, but also countless comrades and friends from the Croatian capital of Zagreb came to bid farewell to our friend and comrade, Ivan.
Dear Ivan, we will never forget you. Smrt fašizmu – sloboda narodu!
Krunoslav Stojaković, head of the RLS Belgrade office
2 July 2018
Ivan’s seminal study on foreign direct investment in Serbia, published by our Belgrade office, can be downloaded here.