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What People are Saying

“In this extraordinary new work, Sabrina Ramet builds upon her highly respected Nationalism and Federalism in Yugoslavia to examine the Yugoslavs’ failure to create a viable and stable state in the twentieth century. Ramet argues that Yugoslavia’s problem was not ethnicity per se and that the country ‘was not doomed to fail.’ Rather, with her usual meticulous research, Ramet demonstrates convincingly that Yugoslavia succumbed more than once because it did not create a legitimate and functional system. The Three Yugoslavias is a long-awaited tour de force.”—Thomas A. Emmert, Professor of History, Gustavus Adolphus College

“Sabrina Ramet’s The Three Yugoslavias represents the culmination of a lifetime of research into the South Slavs by one of the great historians of the subject. Ramet has distilled a tremendous amount of knowledge and insight into a concise and accessible form. This will be required reading on Yugoslavia, its breakup, and the wars that followed—for the layman, undergraduate, and expert alike.”—Marko Attila Hoare, Senior Research Fellow, Kingston University

“This is an elegantly written, theoretically coherent, and empirically well documented book that will be required reading in the field of Balkan Studies. Rooted in an impressive understanding of Yugoslav history and making extensive use of archival sources, Ramet’s book provides a gripping narrative about the rise and fall of the three Yugoslavias.”—Renéo Lukic, Professor of History, Université Laval, Quebec

Chapter List

List of Maps
List of Tables
Preface and Acknowledgments
Abbreviations, Acronyms, and Conventions Used in the Text


1. A Theory of System Legitimacy

2. The First Yugoslavia, Part 1: The Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes, 1918–1929

3. The First Yugoslavia, Part 2: The Kingdom of Yugoslavia, 1929–1941

4. World War Two and the Partisan Struggle, 1941–1945

5. Happy Comrades? Tito, Stalin, and the Birth of the Second Yugoslavia, 1945–1951

6. Dreaming a New Dream, 1950–1962

7. The Reform Crisis, 1962–1970

8. The Rise and Fall of Yugoslav Liberalism, 1967–1973

9. Controversies in the Economic Sector, 1965–1990

10. Nationalist Tensions, 1968–1990

11. A Crisis of Legitimacy, 1974–1989

12. Hail Caesar! The Rise of Slobodan Milošević

13. The Road to War 14. The War of Yugoslav Succession, Phase 1 (1991)

15. The War of Yugoslav Succession, Phase 2 (1992–1995)

16. A Flawed Peace: Post-Dayton Bosnia

17. The Third Yugoslavia and After, 1992–2004

18. UNMIK, KFOR, and the Future of Kosovo

19. Separate Paths: Slovenia, Macedonia, Croatia


About Woodrow Wilson Center Press

Woodrow Wilson Center Press publishes books by fellows, other resident scholars, and staff written in substantial part at the Wilson Center.