Serbia Publications

182. Language, Nationalism and Serbian Politics

Jul 07, 2011
In the former Yugoslavia, language issues have long been both a reflection of inter-ethnic tensions and a catalyst for deepening inter-ethnic animosities. Like religion and ethnicity, language serves as a marker of national identity. Given the ethnic polarization in the former Yugoslavia, language can be a highly emotional and politically sensitive topic. This piece first provides a brief overview of the history of the language-politics interface for the ethnic groups speaking the main language of the former Yugoslavia: Serbo-Croatian. Secondly, it outlines the disintegration of Serbo-Croatian language unity in 1991 as manifested in the emergence of at least three "successor languages" (Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian). Finally, it focuses on the often acrimonious debates of the last few years within Serbia regarding the future of a Serbian standard language. more

353. Blue Helmets and Black Markets: The Business of Survival in the Siege of Sarajevo

Jul 07, 2011
October 2008 - Inside the UN-run airport in besieged Sarajevo hung a makeshift sign: Maybe Airlines. Along the edges of the sign, aid workers, journalists, and diplomats had posted stickers—CNN, ITN, CBS, RTL, MSF, VOX, UNICEF, the French flag, the Canadian flag, the Swedish flag and so on. Above the sign was a piece of plywood with the word destinations hand-written at the top, with a changeable placard below (the placard choices included New York, Geneva, Rome, Berlin, Zagreb, Paris and Heaven). Maybe Airlines was the nickname given to the unreliable UN flights in and out of wartime Sarajevo—the longest airlift ever attempted and the centerpiece of the international humanitarian response to the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Meanwhile, underneath the airport tarmac ran a narrow and damp 800-meter-long tunnel that bypassed both UN controls and the siege lines. Protected from Serb shelling and sniper fire, thousands of people and tons of food, arms and other supplies moved through the underground passageway every day (which the UN pretended did not exist), providing both a vital lifeline for the city and an enormous opportunity for black market profiteering. While the UN airlift was part of the highly visible front-stage of the siege, the tunnel was part of the much less visible but equally important backstage action. Together, they helped Sarajevo survive for more than three-and-a-half years, setting a siege longevity record. more

257. Milosevic and the Hague War Crimes Tribunal

Jul 07, 2011
May 2002- The trial in the Hague of former Serb dictator Slobodan Milosevic marks a pivotal moment and is likely to be seen as such in history. It does not only have ramifications for Milosevic himself and for Serbia, but also for efforts to internationalize justice in this globalized, 21st century world. This is a world in which the United States has become the dominant power, as demonstrated by its military reach and its war on terrorism. 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

330. Serbia's Elections of January 21, 2007: More Pluses than Minuses

Jul 07, 2011
February 2007 - These comments draw on my visit to Belgrade this past January, initially arranged as a research trip for my ongoing and optimistically titled book project with Lenard Cohen, "Embracing Democracy in the Western Balkans: From Post-Conflict Struggles to European Integration." The visit's overlapping with January 21 meant that the elections dominated most of my conversations and also the current press that I collected. I met with a variety of scholars, the editors of the daily Danas, for which I provided an interview, Slobodan G. Markovic of the Institute for European Studies, Srdjan Gligorijevic of the International and Security Affairs Center, and Sonja Licht, now President of the Belgrade Fund for Political Excellence. Supplementing their varied impressions for this balance sheet are articles from the daily papers Danas and Politika, and the weekly magazines Vreme and NIN. more

327. Status with Standards: Analysis of the Progress on the Kosovo Status Talks

Jul 07, 2011
October 2006- From all accounts, the talks that have been held in Vienna over the last year, which brought together delegations from Serbia and Kosovo to negotiate Kosovo's status, have not enjoyed the substantial progress that some might have expected. Despite this deadlock, the undertones of official public statements regarding Kosovo's status clearly point to the fact that Kosovo's status will eventually be as an independent state, although the details of how and when are not clear. What seems to be neglected almost completely in this discussion is what will happen "the day after" the status decision is announced. The focus on the Talks has meant that all energies in Serbia have been spent on crafting arguments for why Kosovo must not become independent, while nothing is being done to prepare the Serbian electorate or the Serbs living in Kosovo for the separation that seems imminent. Likewise in Pristina, calls for independence ring hollow, given the poor record of self-governance there. To address these neglected issues, EES organized a short conference of experts to discuss the many consequences of the Kosovo status decision and the international community's continuing efforts to create a functioning democracy in Kosovo and maintain peace throughout the Balkan region. more

164. Nationalism, The Kosovo Crisis, and Political Change In Serbia

Jul 07, 2011
October 1998 - The mass-based, extreme brand of nationalism, connected with the rise of Slobodan MiloŠevic and with the most cataclysmic years of Yugoslavia's meltdown and disintegration (1990-93), has to a large extent dissipated. However, political forces advancing extreme nationalist sentiments, as well as popular support for those views, remain strong in Serbia and among Serbs in other areas such as Kosovo and the Republika Srpska (as we have just seen from the electoral results in Bosnia). Although intellectual ideologists of Serbian nationalism and ultra-nationalism have been dispirited by MiloŠevic's failures, fundamental views about Serbia's national and territorial interests persist, related to feelings of "wounded national pride." Talk of pursuing a "Greater Serbia" and open revanchism are now rather less visible, as soul-searching occurs about recent Serb experiences in the Balkans. There is still, however, a strong commitment in various circles to the pursuit of Serbian national interests, as well as resentment about what has occurred over the last decade. more

351. Where is Serbia Going?

Jul 07, 2011
June 2008 - Slobodan Milosevic was removed from office in October 2000, after a historic election which he lost to the Democratic Opposition of Serbia (DOS) candidate Vojislav Kostunica. For the past eight years, Serbia has been muddling through its transition from being an international pariah state with a controlled economy—a society isolated from the rest of the world, burdened with its past and suffering from virulent nationalism—to a modern European state with a market economy and thriving democracy. more

224. The October 5th Mass March on Belgrade: An Eyewitness Account

Jul 07, 2011
February 2001- The regime of Slobodan Milosevic created great problems not only for those of us who live in Serbia, but also for the entire world. His regime, which was probably one of the most repressive dictatorships in the world, basically brought the Serbian people to the edge of insanity - to a point where they did not know what to do. The terror and repression that occurred in terms of kidnapings, arrests, and even murders, had tremendous impact on the people of Serbia. more

294. Democratic Consolidation in Serbia: Pitfalls of the Post-Djindjic Transition

Jul 07, 2011
March 2004 - The results of the December 28, 2003 parliamentary elections began a new phase in Serbia's post-Milosevic development. Considerable attention has been focused on the surge of support for the highly nationalistic Serbian Radical Party (SRP), formerly headed by Vojislav Seselj, who at the time of the election was awaiting trial at The Hague tribunal. Seselj's Radicals, now headed by Tomislav Nikolic, received 28 percent of the vote and 82 seats in the 250-seat Serbian National Assembly. But it is important to remember that the other major election winners were from a broad grouping of reformist, democratically-oriented parties, albeit some quite conservative. For example, the Democratic Party of Serbia (DPS), headed by Vojislav Kostunica, received 18 percent of the vote and 53 seats. The party of the assassinated Premier Zoran Djindjic, the Democratic Party, received 13 percent of the vote, garnering 37 seats. The G-17 Plus, headed by Miroljub Labus, won 34 seats and 11.5 percent of the vote. And Vuk Draskovic's Serbian Renewal Movement (SRM) received 7.7 percent of the vote and 22 seats in alliance with the small party called New Serbia (NS). more

Pages

Dialogue

The Future of Higher Education

Mar 26, 2014Apr 02, 2014

Jeff Abernathy and Richard Morrill discuss how colleges and universities are dealing with rapidly rising costs and how the United States can still compete for students in a globalized environment.