Western Balkans Publications
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.
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.
The Milosevic regime was a classic example of what has been called a “democradura,” i.e., a system which combined some of the mechanisms of democracy (with the result that Milosevic’s Socialists were, at one point, forced to enter into a coalition with Seselj’s Radicals, in order to form a government) with many overtly authoritarian features (among which one might mention the constriction of press freedom, the use of the police against the political opposition, and systematic violations of human rights). If, as the author has argued elsewhere, political legitimacy hinges on the observance of routinized, legal, and accepted procedures for political succession, then much depends on the origins of the given regime. Accordingly, to understand the nature of the Milosevic regime and the roots of its crisis, one must return to its origins in 1987.
October 2003 - The European Union (EU) is widely recognized as the international actor with the most potential influence in promoting ethnic reconciliation, shoring up democracy and supporting the economic revitalization of the Balkans. The EU's influence is immediate—providing humanitarian aid, economic assistance, market access and political support. It is also long-term—shaping the tenor of domestic politics by offering the prospect of EU membership. The prospect of EU membership may be more diffuse, but it is ultimately more powerful. It provides substantial and consistent incentives for political moderation and reform on the part of elites in the Balkans and also in Turkey. The World Bank's 2001 report noted that its strategy for the region is "built upon the assumption that a credible commitment to integration with European and global structures, especially the European Union, is a critical ingredient of success, as it will serve as an external driver of reform and intra-regional integration."
April 2002- Governor Dinkic succinctly summarized the achievements and challenges of the Former Republic of Yugoslavia in economic reform since the ouster of Milosevic in October 2000. Among some of the most important economic reform achievements over the last year, Dinkic listed: attaining durable market economic stability; lowering inflation; the reform of the banking sector; the start of serious privatization of national industries; and, the reintegration of Yugoslavia in international institutions, especially financial institutions. These successes were made possible, according to Dinkic, by the coordination of monetary and fiscal policies - a factor lacking in the previous reform attempts of the 1990s.
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.
April 2000 - As a young boy, I was unusually aware of Russia as our home in Kensington creaked under the weight of many tomes written in Cyrillic while prints of Tsarist and Bolshevik Russia stared at us from walls with their unmistakable 'dare to survive the cauldron of history' quality.
January 2006 - What role did the international community play in the Yugoslav crisis in the first half of the 1990s? Could the bloody demise of Yugoslavia have been prevented, if the international community had reacted sooner? On the basis of current literature, the role of international organizations (the UN, NATO, OSCE, EC/EU, WEU), key world powers (USA, Germany, Soviet Union/Russia, Great Britain, France), the standpoints of the non-aligned countries, smaller countries of EC/EU (especially Greece) and other neighboring countries of former Yugoslavia will be considered here.
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.
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.