The Role of Serbia in the process of the disintegration of Yugoslavia

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The causes of the disintegration of Yugoslavia have been, since the early 199Os, a topic of lively scholarly (and not so scholarly) debate which, at times, appears to concern the question of who is to blame for it. For the present purposes there is no need to engage in this debate. There is little doubt that the policies and actions of the communist leaders of Serbia contributed to the disintegration of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFR) [Socijalisticka Federativna Republika Jugoslavija (SFRJ)]. This essay attempts only to identify these policies and actions in the context in which they took place without attempting to rank them as over-all causal factors of the disintegration. State disintegration involves the loss of political power and, finally, of legal jurisdiction of the central state organs over the territory of a state. In SFR Yugoslavia, this process took place under the following three sets of conditions: 1. An economic crisis triggered by the inability of the Yugoslav federal government to control borrowing from foreign lenders and to repay debts to them on time. 2. A continuing disagreement within the Yugoslav communist political elite concerning the constitutional division of power and competences between federal, republic and provincial levels of government. 3. A related political crisis resulting from unsuccessful attempts to suppress a clandestine movement among Kosovo Albanians demanding the secession of the province of Kosovo [Kosove] from Serbia. This essay offers only a crude outline of various policy prescriptions and their implementation by the Serbian political elite which, under these three sets of conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)333-344
Number of pages12
JournalÖsterreichische osthefte
Issue number1-4
Publication statusPublished - 2005


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