The book Bluffers and Chess Players is a selection of author's columns about the current political developments in Croatia.

The title Bluffers and Chess Players doesn't have to mean anything at the first glance, but before you get to reading, it deserves the „key“ for understanding it.

Bluffers are in power, they are a political class, not to be called rude names: thieves, grimy egoists, bad students with no degrees and morals, hypocrites who don't choose their means and who change their principles like shirts.
Chess players are honest intelligence. They know the rules and think, and they do not see that there are kings even outside the board, stupid rooks that only go straight and pawns that are occasionally sacrificed. Neither are chess players without flaws. Sometimes they are superstitious, some do not like people or pets. They are like that. They love the game and the rules. They have titles that they respect. They are ranked according to objective criteria of success. They speak the universal language of the game. Although carrying strange names, they are welcome everywhere. Chess players only watch their games and only do their jobs.

Spectators are a bunch of people who see great moves on the side, but are unable to play and say they are not interested. While they are hoping that chess players will come to power and that wit wins, bluffers rule without real resistance to mindlesness, nonsense, prejudice and popular myths. Spectators keep silent with mixed feelings. They know that in the end they will pay everything without even playing. They don't dare to be chess players, so they are bluffers' victims. Because bluffers are in power, and the bluff is not just a style, it's a system.

Josip Kregar


Wisdom, cooperation and compromise are not virtues here. In Croatian politics, in a small country surrounded by dishonest allies, a style of pretend determination – which is really arrogance, rude lying and the truth that is being calmly kept silent – is enforced all because of the belief that elections are won by bums and apparent leaders, so that modest and careful ones stay at home, tired and lazy.

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To be above the law, for security and property, you must subject to the leader personally. The leader is above the law, he does not recognize any court but the court of the party and his worship is gained by constantly putting his words above the law, morals and customs. The leader is the first one to invoke traditions, and the first one to abandon the usual rules.

Excerpts from the book

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Dr. sc. Josip Kregar is a tenured professor at the Faculty of Law, University of Zagreb. He was born in Ogulin in 1953. His research and teaching areas are sociology, public administration and human rights. He's a visiting professor at the University of Graz and Yale University in the USA. He teaches at the Global Campus of Human Rights. From 2005 to 2009 he was Dean of the Faculty of Law, University of Zagreb. He was a member of the Croatian Parliament and the author of several draft laws in the area of conflict of interest prevention, political party financing and the right to access information.

In addition to a large number of scholarly books and papers, he has also published political essay books: Against the wind: a small book about sailing and politics (Protiv vjetra: mala knjiga o jedrenju i politici, 2010), The origin of doubt (Porijeklo sumnje, 2012), Before the silence (Prije šutnje, 2016) and Silence (Šutnja, 2017).




  • ISBN: 978-953-8075-68-1
  • Dimensions: 145x205 mm
  • Cover: paperback
  • Year of the edition: 2019
  • Original language: Croatian