Western Balkans Publications

212. Geopolitical and Geostrategic Aspects of War in the Former Yugoslavia: 1991-2000

Jul 07, 2011
October 2000 - The war in the former Yugoslavia was not a civil war as often asserted, but a war of aggression by the Serbian regime in Belgrade, led Slobodan Milosevic, with the aim of creating a "Greater Serbian" state. This Greater Serbia was to encompass all the Serbs that lived in the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY). Belgrade's regime provided strong political and propaganda support to the Serbs in Croatia and Bosnia to declare their regions autonomous. In both republics, the former Serbian-dominated Yugoslav People's Army (YPA) was used to arm the Serbian rebels and protect their self-declared autonomous areas. The YPA's attack against Slovenia in June 1991, and subsequent aggression against Croatia in July 1991, as well as against Bosnia in April 1992, were not spontaneous and improvised acts, but a part of a series of plans drawn up by the YPA's General Staff in late 1980s. more

69. U.S. Policy Toward the Former Yugoslavia

Jul 07, 2011
The author of this paper asserts that for the United States, the period since 1990 has been a time of confusion, conflicting signals, arrogance, misunderstanding, anomie, and ultimately, failure as successive administrations tried to figure out what American policy toward the Balkans should be. As we try to clear away the underbrush of this period, four distinct periods in U.S. policy toward Yugoslavia can be discerned. Hopefully, understanding those periods will help point the way to a more creative, positive, and successful U.S. policy toward the former Yugoslavia. more

302. Think before We Act: New Questions about Decentralization in Kosovo

Jul 07, 2011
October 2004 - Nuk ndërtohet shtëpia prej kulmit — You cannot build a house by starting with the roof For generations in Kosovo, the idiom above has served to reflect a collective mistrust of the many hasty and ill-conceived attempts to contain Kosovo's dynamic society. Unfortunately, much of its introspective irony has slipped the attention of foreign rulers. As one occupying regime left in 1999 and was replaced by an equally hostile community of foreign administrators, the intractable realities of Kosovo's house have once again faded into the background. more

246. Is There a Future for Federalism in the Balkans?

Jul 07, 2011
February 2002- It was the federal system or its insufficiently consistent implementation that tormented and eventually broke down the first and the second Yugoslavia. The third one, which we live in today, or more precisely, on whose ruins we live today, has also failed to produce an adequate solution for this issue. Therefore, we are trying with a vengeance to identify a good federal formula, quite new in many aspects, so that it could serve as a framework for a fourth, sustainable Yugoslavia, or, if you like, a newly established community of Serbia and Montenegro. more

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

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

266. The Albanian National Question and Balkan Stability

Jul 07, 2011
December 2002- On November 28, 2002, Albanians all over the world celebrated Albania's Independence Day. President Alfred Moisiu; Prime Minister Fatos Nano; opposition leader Sali Berisha; the Prime Minister of Kosova Bajram Rexhepi; former KLA leaders, now party leaders, Hashim Thaci and Ramush Haradinaj; the leader of the Democratic Party of Albanians in Macedonia, Arben Xhaferri; and, representatives of Albanians in Montenegro and abroad, all gathered in the southern port of Vlore, where 90 years ago Albanian patriots declared Albania's independence. Such a gathering was seen by some politicians and analysts in the region as further proof that Albanians are working for the creation of a "Greater Albania." more

205. Montenegro: Prospects for the Yugoslav Federation

Jul 07, 2011
May 2000 - In the early nineties, during the breakup of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the international community supported the independence of all of its six constituent republics. Four republics - Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Macedonia - became independent states. The remaining two other republics, Serbia and Montenegro, created the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in April 1992. One month later the new state, driven by international sanctions, fell prey to isolation. In a referendum, held in March 1992, a majority of the citizens of Montenegro voted for co-existence with Serbia in a new common Federal state. more

141. The Violent Dissolution of Yugoslavia: A Comparative Perspective

Jul 07, 2011
October 1997 - Why did the Yugoslav state end? And why was its dismemberment violent? One approach to answering these questions is to compare Yugoslavia with Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union--the other two states in the region that broke apart following the collapse of Communist Party rule, but significantly did so in a peaceful manner. more

286. The Limits of Lessons for Iraq

Jul 07, 2011
Jorge Santayana would be pleased. Nearly every policy proposal on Iraq these days mentions lessons learned from past interventions, such as postwar Germany and Japan, East Timor, Bosnia and Kosovo. In the spirit of Santayana's famous dictum—"those who forget the past are destined to relive it"—analysts have been doggedly culling US state-building experience for lessons learned. more

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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.