Western Balkans Publications

178. U.S. Policy In The Balkans: Federation as Exit Strategy

Jul 07, 2011
Critics of American involvement in Kosovo generally charge that the United States has no business entering yet another bloody Balkan quarrel and that, if we did, we would never get out. Such fears are hardly groundless. An intervention undertaken without at least some agreement among the parties about long-term political objectives and without sufficient force to meet likely challenges on the ground could well end up the worst of all outcomes. It might well fail to stop the bloodshed among the parties. It could also produce significant casualties among the intervention troops. Unlike Bosnia in 1995, both sides in Kosovo still have the will to attempt to prevail by force. more

177. NATO'S Calculation: No Alternative In The Former Yugoslavia

Jul 07, 2011
1999 - The international strategy on Kosovo, developed in early 1999, ran off course when the Kosovar Albanians did not initially accept proposals for an agreement because it did not offer their ultimate goal: separation. The international strategy assumed that the Kosovar Albanians would agree and that a threat to use air power against Serbian forces to coerce agreement might be required. It also assumed that eventually Belgrade would back down. more

297. European and US Policies in the Balkans

Jul 07, 2011
May 2004 - Because the European Union (EU) and the US share the same goals in the region, the Western Balkans have become a cornerstone of transatlantic cooperation over the last decade. Despite the many rifts that have appeared in the transatlantic partnership, the US and Europe continue to be united in their commitment to contain violent nationalism in the Balkans and help the region in its transition to liberal democracy and European integration. more

230. Ethnicity in Exile: Coping with the Yugoslavs in World War II

Jul 07, 2011
March 2001- The Nazi invasion of Yugoslavia in April 1941, resulted in the replacement of a unified state by a puppet regime in Serbia and an ideologically-fascist Independent State of Croatia under the Ustasa regime. This regime claimed for Croatia most of the ethnically mixed Bosnia-Herzegovina as well as the Serb-dominated eastern Slavonia and Krajina. To cleanse those areas of ethnic Serbs, the Ustasa committed atrocities, the brutality of which was most potently symbolized by the death camp at Jasenovac, later to also become symbol for Yugoslavia's 1990s disintegration. Until recently, however, most historical inquiry into World War II Yugoslavia has focused on the civil war between Tito's communist Partisans and Draza Mihailovic's Serb-dominated Cetniks. The royal government-in-exile, based in London, appointed Mihailovic war minister in January 1942, and considered the Cetniks its representative in Yugoslavia. A historical issue that has not been sufficiently examined is the British relationship with the government-in exile during the war and how that relationship prompted the British to lead the Allies into switching support from Mihailovic to Tito. more

162. Kosovo: Challenge To Balkan Stability

Jul 07, 2011
September 1998 - Because of the press coverage and the policy interest both here and in Europe, a fundamental question arises over why the US--and the international community--should be concerned with Kosovo. The answer has two levels. The first is the issue of the violation of the Kosovar Albanians' human rights within their own country, although suffering and human rights violations are not unique to Kosovo. The second is the issue of Balkan stability in which the United States and Europe--including NATO--have a stated interest. The threat of spillover violence to an already unstable Albania and the precarious democracy in Macedonia (FYROM) is great. Spillover violence could have an impact on the Dayton peace process--here the United States has committed substantial resources including 6,900 troops--and potentially across the broader Balkan region, which might lead to a collapse of the former Yugoslavia and embroil Greece and Turkey. more

296. The Return of Nationalists in Serbia and Croatia: Is Democracy Threatened?

Jul 07, 2011
May 2004 - Seemingly discredited just a few short years ago, the nationalist parties that were the main perpetrators of war, undemocratic politics and economic mismanagement in the former Yugoslavia's two largest successor states have made an electoral comeback after several years of rule by reformist, pro-Western coalitions. In Croatia, the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ-Hrvatska Demokratska Zajednica), which held a virtual monopoly on political power throughout the 1990s, won the largest number of seats (43 percent) in the November 2003 parliamentary elections and became the governing party in a four-party coalition and Ivo Sanader, the HDZ leader, became prime minister. The far-right Croatian Party of Rights (HSP-Hrvatska Stranka Prava) doubled its representation in parliament from four to eight seats, but did not join the ruling coalition. In the Serbian parliamentary election of December 2003, the top vote- and seat-getter (32 percent of parliamentary seats) was the Serbian Radical Party (Srpska Radikalna Stranka—SRS) of Vojislav Seselj, currently detained in the Netherlands for war crimes. The SRS, albeit never the ruling party in Serbia, had played a key role as the ideological surrogate of Slobodan Milosevic and the former ruling Serbian Socialist Party (SPS-Srpska Partija Socjalisticka). Besides helping Milosevic solidify his nationalist credentials, the SRS also performed some of the former regime's dirty work by organizing paramilitaries to fight in Croatia and Bosnia. The SPS itself managed to win only 22 seats in the December 2003 election. Both Seselj and Milosevic topped their parties' lists and were elected in absentia. Despite its strong showing in the election, however, the SRS did not form a government, a task that was undertaken by a group of democratically-minded parties led by the Serbian Democratic Party (DSS-Demokratska Stranka Srbije) of Vojislav Kostunica, who decided, to the great dismay of Western diplomats, to seek nominal support of Milosevic's Socialists for his government. These developments (along with the fact that nationalist parties prevailed in 2002 federal elections in Bosnia-Herzegovina) could lead some observers to find a resurgent nationalism throughout the Balkans. more

223. Restarting U.S. - Yugoslav Relations

Jul 07, 2011
January 2001- Three months ago the whole world was relieved when Slobodan Milosevic, Serbia's ruler for the past thirteen years, was removed from power. The opposition won the election but it is the people who went to the streets, willing to risk their very lives, who are the real victor and nobody must forget that including the new government. The Serbian population was fed up with failed promises and patriotic slogans and had enough of the isolation and everyday misery which it had to endure for over a decade. Most importantly, they wanted to reclaim their lives and the future of their children. more

159. The Politics of Language Reform In The Yugoslav Successor States

Jul 07, 2011
April 1998 - This presentation is devoted to the current status of the language and politics interface among the Yugoslav successor states and entities. By perusing the recently published dictionaries, grammars, orthographic manuals, and polemical articles on the successor languages to Serbo-Croatian, one can examine the viability of the new languages and the prospects for ethnic reconciliation, given the deepening linguistic divide. Since the Serbo-Croatian linguistic union was agreed upon in 1850, language controversies have reflected broader ethnic/political tensions or, in some instances, may have served to spark a worsening of ethnic relations. more

295. European Integration and Ethnic Reconciliation in Croatia and Serbia

Jul 07, 2011
December 2003 - Barely one week before the European Union's biggest enlargement ever on May 1, 2004, the European Commission gave Croatia the green light to open formal accession negotiations for EU membership. Croatian Prime Minister Ivo Sanader toasted the news with champagne in Zagreb, declaring: "Today we turn a new page in history." The Commission's decision is a remarkable turnaround for a country that was mired in violent conflict a decade ago and diplomatically isolated for most of the 1990s. It is significant as well that Sanader, elected in December 2003 when the Croatian Democratic Union (CDU) resumed power, celebrates this historic moment. The nationalist policies of his party's founder, Franjo Tudman, thwarted Croatia's European aspirations throughout the 1990s. CDU leaders and their supporters continued in recent years to undermine the previous regime's commitment to meeting EU conditions, namely turning over indicted war criminals to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). The election of the CDU in December 2003 thus provided an important test for whether changes brought about by the EU's accession process are enduring. By fulfilling his pledge to make a clear and determined effort to enter the EU, even at the expense of marginalizing nationalist factions, Sanader appears to have turned a new page. more

216. Language, Identity and Balkan Politics: Struggle for Identity in the Former Yugoslavia

Jul 07, 2011
April 2000- In the former Yugoslavia, language issues have long been both a reflection of inter-ethnic tensions and a catalyst for deepening inter-ethnic animosities. Since the collapse of the Yugoslav Federation in 1991, the insistence that the Serbo-Croatian language be broken up along ethnic lines has at times resulted in what some analysts have considered to be absurd and unnatural consequences. Indeed, given the ethnic polarization in the 1980s and 1990s, language has proven to be a highly emotional and politically sensitive topic. These two decades were characterized by increased competition among the Serbs, Croats, and Muslim Slavs for the populations of ethnically mixed regions. The official concern was for the language rights of ethnic kin residing outside the borders of their home republic. This concern was strongest within Serbian linguistic circles where dialectologists actively engaged in documenting the dialects of Serbs residing in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. In a similar fashion, Croat linguists became concerned about the dialects of ethnic Croats in the Herzegovina and Posavian regions of Bosnia-Herzegovina. more

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