Western Balkans Publications

337. Language Politics and Language Policies in the Contemporary Western Balkans: Infinitives, Turkisms and EUrolinguistics

Jul 07, 2011
April 2007 - Although the Western Balkans today is generally construed as Albania and former Yugoslavia, from the point of view of Balkan linguistics, Greece is also in this region. Here I shall examine some recent policy and political developments through the prisms of linguistics and of language ideology, i.e., the ways people think about language. Because language is both act and artifact—it exists in documents and the minds of speakers but at the same time it is constituted by everyday practices—the intersections of linguistics and politics are complex. This is true in Western Europe no less than in the Western Balkans, as can be seen, for example, in official French persecution of regional languages from 1794 to 1951, the 1972 statement of Georges Pompidou, then President of France, that there was no place for regional languages in France, the exclusion of Breton schools from French public funding in 2002 (Mercator-Education: Breton, 2003), the recent contretemps over the use of Occitanian in examinations ("L'occitan interdit en Ile de France?" Communique: Federacion dels Ensenhaires de Lengua e Cutlura d'Oc, 31 October 2006), etc. It can even be argued that EU ideologies of inclusiveness are being reflected in certain types of linguistic research that peripheralize the Balkans. In order to provide the necessary context for the following discussion, I will give a brief outline of some basics of Balkan linguistics. more

261. Criminalized Conflict: The Clandestine Political Economy of War and Peace in the Balkans

Jul 07, 2011
October 2002- Contemporary war economies in places such as the Balkans, the Caucasus, Central Asia, and West Africa tend to be clandestine economies, utilizing criminal actors as combatants and smuggling networks and black marketeering for financing and supplies. The importance of clandestine flows and criminal actors becomes even more apparent in the context of evading international economic sanctions and arms embargoes. Consequently, the business of war and the business of crime closely intersect—producing a form of criminalized conflict. In the case of the 1992-1995 Bosnian war, for example, understanding the role of criminal actors and clandestine flows is crucial in explaining the war's outbreak, persistence, termination, and aftermath. Calling this war a criminalized conflict does not take politics out and simply reduce all aspects of the conflict to criminality and economic motives. It does, however, stress the analytical insights that can be gained from a more sharply-focused exploration of the intersection between smuggling practices, criminal actors, and warfare. It also has important implications for understanding the challenges of post-conflict reconstruction. more

199. The Road to Bosnia and Kosovo: The Role of the Great Powers in the Balkans

Jul 07, 2011
April 2000 - As a young boy, I was unusually aware of Russia as our home in Kensington creaked under the weight of many tomes written in Cyrillic while prints of Tsarist and Bolshevik Russia stared at us from walls with their unmistakable 'dare to survive the cauldron of history' quality. more

320. The International Community's Response to the Yugoslav Crisis: 1989-1995

Jul 07, 2011
January 2006 - What role did the international community play in the Yugoslav crisis in the first half of the 1990s? Could the bloody demise of Yugoslavia have been prevented, if the international community had reacted sooner? On the basis of current literature, the role of international organizations (the UN, NATO, OSCE, EC/EU, WEU), key world powers (USA, Germany, Soviet Union/Russia, Great Britain, France), the standpoints of the non-aligned countries, smaller countries of EC/EU (especially Greece) and other neighboring countries of former Yugoslavia will be considered here. more

252. Tragedy, Transition, and Transformation: The Local-International Nexus of Transnational Organized Crime in the Former Yugoslav Republics

Jul 07, 2011
April 2002- Transnational organized crime in the former Yugoslav Republics is a complex amalgam of local and international crime groups. The crime groups are not mafia-like in that they are not hierarchical groups based on formal associations. Instead, these are network structures loosely cooperating, which are deeply embedded in their communities. Performing functions on the local level, they cannot easily be dislodged because of weak government, local passivity, and even outright complicity. Furthermore, these organizations have such strength because they draw on the traditional links among Slavic communities, such as established trade routes and the historic geopolitical importance of the Balkan Peninsula within Europe. more

196. Why the Balkans?

Jul 07, 2011
March 2000 - At the beginning of this new century we may ask what problems we inherited, unresolved, from the last century. One of those problems is the Balkans. more

314. Now That the Wars Have Ended, Did We Learn Anything?

Jul 07, 2011
April 2005 - Yugoslavia's dramatic dissolution provoked an outpouring of scholarly, journalistic and autobiographical commentary throughout the 1990s, and it was only with the end of major bloodshed and the departure of the primary villain(s) from the scene at the start of the new millennium that the Balkans receded from the center of the public eye. Yet now that the dust has settled, it is appropriate to ask whether or not we have learned anything from the events of that decade. In particular, what caused a once-functioning and respected state to disintegrate, and to disintegrate as violently as it did, and are there any inferences we can make about the management of sectarian strife in other multinational polities—including the entities that once made up pre-1990 Yugoslavia? more

251. Market Reform in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia: Achievements, Challenges, and Dangers

Jul 07, 2011
April 2002- Governor Dinkic succinctly summarized the achievements and challenges of the Former Republic of Yugoslavia in economic reform since the ouster of Milosevic in October 2000. Among some of the most important economic reform achievements over the last year, Dinkic listed: attaining durable market economic stability; lowering inflation; the reform of the banking sector; the start of serious privatization of national industries; and, the reintegration of Yugoslavia in international institutions, especially financial institutions. These successes were made possible, according to Dinkic, by the coordination of monetary and fiscal policies - a factor lacking in the previous reform attempts of the 1990s. more

191. Biased Justice: "Humanrightsism" and the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Jul 07, 2011
December 1999 - Many American lawyers, commentators and politicians view the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (hereafter, ICTY or "the Tribunal") as a manifestation of the triumph of law and justice in international affairs, since those who violate international humanitarian law and the laws of war are not shielded by state sovereignty. The ICTY, however, delivers a "justice" that is biased, with prosecutorial decisions based on the personal and national characteristics of the accused rather than on what available evidence indicates that he has done. This bias is seen in the failure to prosecute NATO personnel for acts that are comparable to those of people already indicted, and in the failure to prosecute NATO personnel for prima facie war crimes. This pattern of politically driven prosecution is accompanied by the use of the Tribunal as a tool for those Western countries that support it, and especially the United States, to pursue political goals in the Balkans. Further, the Tribunal's rules (some of which resemble those of the Spanish Inquisition) and procedural decisions make it difficult for defendants to receive a fair trial. more

313. A Brief Historical Overview of the Development of Albanian Nationalism

Jul 07, 2011
March 2005 - The most dangerous outcome of the destruction of command socialism in the Balkans has been the resurfacing of militant nationalism particularly, it seems, in the western part of the peninsula. These events have encouraged a reexamination of the various Balkan nationalisms in terms of origins and course. It is the purpose of this paper briefly to examine the Albanian variant and some aspects of nationalist formation during its various stages of development, followed by some thoughts on the future of nationalism in Albania. more

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