Western Balkans Publications
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.
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.
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.
In this paper the author aims to demonstrate how and why myths are created and what political, ethical, or other ideological purposes they can be made to serve. In her overall project, "Demographic patterns and Family structure in Nineteenth-century Bulgaria" (which is outlined in detail in Appendix 1), she aims at empirical research whose ultimate and modest value would be to attempt to fill in some of the blank spots of the social history of this specific region.
January 2002- In the 21st century, organized crime in the Balkans has accomplished what empires like the Romans, Byzantines, Ottomans, Hapsburgs and, briefly, Hitler's Third Reich achieved in centuries past. Namely, to compel the myriad, rival ethnic groups of the region to work together for a common purpose. The difference, of course, is in the compulsions and incentives. Past empires used limited doses of advantages for those who cooperated, combined with brute force against those who resisted.
March 2001- The Nazi invasion of Yugoslavia in April 1941, resulted in the replacement of a unified state by a puppet regime in Serbia and an ideologically-fascist Independent State of Croatia under the Ustasa regime. This regime claimed for Croatia most of the ethnically mixed Bosnia-Herzegovina as well as the Serb-dominated eastern Slavonia and Krajina. To cleanse those areas of ethnic Serbs, the Ustasa committed atrocities, the brutality of which was most potently symbolized by the death camp at Jasenovac, later to also become symbol for Yugoslavia's 1990s disintegration. Until recently, however, most historical inquiry into World War II Yugoslavia has focused on the civil war between Tito's communist Partisans and Draza Mihailovic's Serb-dominated Cetniks. The royal government-in-exile, based in London, appointed Mihailovic war minister in January 1942, and considered the Cetniks its representative in Yugoslavia. A historical issue that has not been sufficiently examined is the British relationship with the government-in exile during the war and how that relationship prompted the British to lead the Allies into switching support from Mihailovic to Tito.
September 2000 - Milosevic has gradually been losing credibility over the past few years and these recent elections signify the beginning of the end for him. According to Cerovic, Milosevic's cronies will most likely turn their support towards the victorious presidential candidate of the democratic opposition, Vojislav Kostunica. Election results tallied by the opposition indicate an overwhelming 55% support for Kostunica. By contrast, election votes counted by the regime's Federal Election Commission gave Kostunica only 48% - short of the 50% +1 margin needed to forgo a second round. Cerovic believes that only by seizing the moment and defying the government's call for a second round of elections can the united opposition continue to exert additional pressure on Milosevic and further weaken his grip on power.
October 2004 - The situation in the southern Balkans had generally been seen to be improving in 2003, with some institutional progress in Kosovo, the gradual implementation of the Ohrid Accords in Macedonia and activity on European Union (EU) accession in all countries. The international community was, though, excessively optimistic about the post-Milosevic climate in Serbia, which it believed would usher in a series of benevolent changes for the whole region and thus undermine nationalist sentiment in both Kosovo and Montenegro. In reality, little has changed in the Serbia-Kosovo relationship over the last three years. In this context, the Kosovo rioting and attacks on property and religious buildings in March 2004 were a shock to most of the international community. A number of random incidents led to the riots, which were also fueled by popular dissatisfaction with UNMIK's performance regarding unemployment and electric power generation. The riots did not halt the progress in transferring power and competencies to the new local institutions or the withdrawal of UNMIK from some spheres of Kosovo life. Nevertheless, they were a symbol of the deep underlying problems in Kosovo.
October 1999 - Southeastern Europe has challenged the future of Europe and North America. While some of the region's intractable disputes simmer (e.g., between Greece and Turkey), the events, policies and personalities that inflamed the Balkans since 1989 have endangered principles for which advanced democracies stand and the alliance that unites them in common defense. If and how we pre-empt, halt and un-do heinous measures by nationalists and extremists in the Balkans will largely determine how the Euro-Atlantic community enters the 21s century.
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.