The fragmentation of Yugoslavia: Nationalism in a multinational state

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Why did Yugoslavia disintegrate in a series of brutal civil wars? The roots of the conflict are to be found in the Croat and Serb as well as Kosovo Albanian and Bosnian Muslim national ideologies which make competing claims for the same territory. These national ideologies, which predate the Yugoslav state created in 1918, re-emerged first as anti-communist dissident ideologies in the 1980s and then in 1990 as the ideologies of the new ruling parties in each Yugoslav republic. As the Yugoslav constitution of 1974 offered no mechanism for the arbitration of the conflicting territorial claims, the new political leaders in the Yugoslav republics attempted to settle them by force. Neither the European Community (Union) nor the United Nations was able to resolve the conflict by a negotiated settlement; in 1995 in the USA and NATO undertook to impose a settlement by a combination of armed and diplomatic intimidation of the Serb leaders. Whether this strategy will bring a lasting peace is still to be seen.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages196
ISBN (Print)0312163428, 0333642295
Publication statusPublished - 1997


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