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Abstract: In 1997 three students joined a protest against the electoral victory of Slobodan Milosevic's Serbian Socialist Party. Upon the protests ultimate defeat, and Milosevic's return to power, the students vowed to continue the struggle for civic activism in Serbia. Their efforts manifested in the creation of the Centre for Civil Society Development PROTECTA, an NGO committed to promoting civic engagement throughout Serbia. Twelve years following the protests PROTECTA has a budget of half-a-million Euro, twenty full-time employees, and working relationships with major public and private international donors. The story is more impressive considering that this organizational growth took place during extreme political, economic, and social upheaval.
Learning Objective: This case offers students an opportunity to recount the rise of the organization under increasingly trying personal, political and professional circumstances, namely war and a repressive state. These circumstances call into question some potential ethical concerns regarding management in a hostile political environment. It offers an opportunity for students to make a decision and plot strategy for the organization's future in areas such as leadership transition, finances, and staffing.