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.
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.
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.
November 2000- On March 24, 1999, NATO attacked Serbia and bombed it for two and half months. Around two thousand civilians were killed - a figure most often quoted locally and probably realistic. Milosevic's regime quoted a figure of five thousand, NATO of five hundred. There is more agreement about the number of Serbian soldiers (both in the military service and the reservists) and policemen killed - seven hundred and two hundred respectively. The material damages are between thirty and fifty billion dollars. As a result, Serbia, which had been poor, became even poorer, unemployment increased and wages decreased.
The purpose of this paper is to emphasize the importance of diplomatic reporting, particularly in the century before 1914 when ambassadors were men of influence and when their dispatches were read by those who made the final decisions in foreign policy. European diplomats often held strong opinions and were sometimes influenced by passions and prejudices, but nevertheless throughout the century their activities contributed to assuring that this period would, with obvious exceptions, be an era of peace in continental affairs.
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.
March 2006 - Back from a February visit to Belgrade, I concluded that simply situating Serbia between one rock—Kosovo—and one hard place—the European Union—will not suffice. A number of rocks and hard places need to be identified. Start with Mladic and Montenegro as well as Kosovo and the European Union, then add a dispirited public, a troubled economy and a discouraged electorate, suspicious of all political parties. And they feed off each other. Both Bosnia's suit against Serbia in The Hague's International Court and anniversary dates of the NATO bombing campaign were also impending, even before the demonstrations that followed the death of Slobodan Milosevic. Yet their limited extent and impact is one positive sign.
January 2003- This essay challenges the conventional wisdom that there are definite "lessons" to be drawn from NATO's war over Kosovo. To the contrary, the Kosovo intervention offers a number of compelling (and often contradictory) implications that should concern — and may even confound — serious analysts and policymakers. At best, the most reasonable conclusion in the after-math of the war is that the lessons of Kosovo are terminally ambiguous. While the intent here is not to promote a specific solution or set of policy recommendations, there does exist a broad problem-set of dynamics that were, and are, driving forces in the shaping, analysis and future direction of the European security architecture. Attempts to explain conflict that focus too narrowly on ethnic differences, or too broadly evoke human justice as grounds for intervention, will consistently miss the strategic mark.
This publication stemmed from a conference held on April 23, 2004 entitled "Women in East European Politics." The event was co-sponsored by the Kennan Institute, the Watson Institute, Brown University and the George Washington University.
Diplomacy on the Edge: Containment of Ethnic Conflict and the Minorities Working Group of the Conferences on YugoslaviaMay 01, 2007
Diplomacy on the Edge tells about the international efforts to mediate the political, economic, and social climate of the former Yugoslavia in 1991–2004.