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Confronting the Yugoslav Controversies: A Scholar's Initiative, 2nd edition

Charles Ingrao
Thomas A. Emmert
Copyright Date: 2013
Edition: Second Edition
Published by: Purdue University Press
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  • Book Info
    Confronting the Yugoslav Controversies
    Book Description:

    It has been two decades since Yugoslavia fell apart. The brutal conflicts that followed its dissolution are over, but the legacy of the tragedy continues to unsettle the region. Reconciliation is a long and difficult process that necessitates a willingness to work together openly and objectively in confronting the past. Over the past ten years the Scholars’ Initiative has assembled an international consortium of historians, social scientists, and jurists to examine the salient controversies that still divide the peoples of former Yugoslavia. The findings of its eleven research teams represent a direct assault on the proprietary narratives and interpretations that nationalist politicians and media have impressed on mass culture in each of the successor states. Given gaps in the historical record and the existence of sometimes contradictory evidence, this volume does not pretend to resolve all of the outstanding issues. Nevertheless, this second edition incorporates new evidence and major developments that have taken place in the region since the first edition went to press. At the heart of this project has always been the insistence of the authors that they would continue to reconsider their analyses and conclusions based on credible new evidence. Thus, in this second edition, the work of the Scholars' Initiative continues. The broadly conceived synthesis will assist scholars, public officials, and the people they represent both in acknowledging inconvenient facts and in discrediting widely held myths that inform popular attitudes and the electoral success of nationalist politicians who profit from them. Rather than rely on special pleading and appeals to patriotism that have no place in scholarship, the volume vests its credibility in the scientific credentials of its investigators, the transparent impartiality of its methodology, and an absolute commitment to soliciting and examining evidence presented by all sides.

    eISBN: 978-1-61249-228-5
    Subjects: History, Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Preface to the second edition
    (pp. vii-viii)
    Charles Ingrao and Thomas A. Emmert
  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-xii)
  5. Introduction
    (pp. 1-11)
    Charles Ingrao

    It was the kind of scene most people would never forget. On 19 March 1988 a car carrying two British army corporals inadvertently encountered a large funeral procession that had gathered outside a Belfast cemetery to bury three slain IRA gunmen. The crowd quickly converged on the men, who were dragged from the vehicle, beaten, stripped, and then hoisted over a wall just out of sight of security cameras, where they were summarily executed. Surely the horrific news footage that flashed on the television screen that evening was not that unusual for British or Irish viewers. But it left this...

  6. 1 The Dissolution of Yugoslavia
    (pp. 12-47)
    Andrew Wachtel and Christopher Bennett

    The violent breakup of Yugoslavia in the early 1990s occasioned a great deal of writing, both popular and scholarly. By now, at least in the academic community, there is substantial agreement as to the causes and chronology of the dissolution, though this has not necessarily trickled down to the popular level (particularly in the independent states that emerged from the carnage). This chapter is not meant to add significantly to the scholarship on this topic. Rather, it sums up much research that has been done by other scholars and represents, we believe, a broad consensus within the profession. Insofar as...

  7. 2 Kosovo Under Autonomy, 1974–1990
    (pp. 48-81)
    Momčilo Pavlović

    Ethnic relations are the crucial issue in Kosovo, especially between the Albanians and the Serbs. These groups have not managed to find a suitable and long-lasting political solution to administering Kosovo together. From the time the territory of Kosovo became a part of Serbia and then of Yugoslavia in the early decades of the twentieth century, the Kosovo problem has been seen by some as a problem of continual “status reversal.” Whenever the Serbs administered Kosovo, as they did in the interwar period and from the end of World War II until lately, Kosovo Albanians¹ were discriminated against in political,...

  8. 3 Independence and the Fate of Minorities (1991–1992)
    (pp. 82-113)
    Gale Stokes

    The question of what status minorities might have in the successor states to socialist Yugoslavia was one of the central issues that informed the Wars of Yugoslav Succession, especially for many Serbs.¹ This chapter does not lay out a narrative of the early years of that conflict, nor is it a general discussion of minority rights throughout the 1990s or for all of the Yugoslav republics. It confines itself to the period 1991-1992 and assumes that readers will have a reasonably good grasp of the basic narrative. Instead the chapter focuses on why the minority issue was so important, asks...

  9. 4 Ethnic Cleansing and War Crimes, 1991–1995
    (pp. 114-153)
    Marie-Janine Calic

    Public perception has associated the Yugoslav wars of succession with all forms of ethnically inspired violence, from murder, rape, and torture to mass expulsion. Many of these systematic violations of international humanitarian law occurred in the context of ethnic cleansing—a purposeful policy that “means rendering an area ethnically homogenous by using force or intimidation to remove from a given area persons from another ethnic or religious group.”¹ The violent breakup of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia resulted in the largest refugee crisis in Europe since World War II. In 1991, half a million people were displaced in Croatia....

  10. 5 The International Community and the FRY/Belligerents, 1989–1997
    (pp. 154-201)
    Matjaž Klemenčič

    For almost four decades after World War II, the international community supported socialist nonaligned Yugoslavia as a symbolic and even strategic cross roads between the polar world of the cold war. Billions of dollars of aid flooded the country in the belief that it was important to support Tito’s Yugoslav experiment.¹ When the crises leading to Yugoslavia’s dissolution mounted in the last years of the 1980s, both the United States and the Soviet Union/Russian Federation tried to maintain the status quo and hold together a Yugoslavia that had become an empty shell. Instead of seeking to facilitate a peaceful transformation...

  11. 6 Safe Areas
    (pp. 202-231)
    Charles Ingrao

    The battle lines between the Bosnian Serbs and their opponents have not changed much since the creation of the six “safe areas” in the spring of 1993. The controversy over the wartime events in and around Bihać, Goražde, Sarajevo, Srebrenica, Tuzla, and Žepa still divides the Bosnian Serbs and their supporters from those of the Bosnian government and the bulk of the international community—except, perhaps, that it is the Bosnian Serbs who are on the defensive, whether in the accounts of scholars and journalists or in testimony given at The Hague Tribunal. Then as now, the prevailing discourse represents...

  12. 7 The War in Croatia, 1991–1995
    (pp. 232-273)
    Mile Bjelajac and Ozren Žunec

    Military organizations produce large quantities of documents covering all aspects of their activities, from strategic plans and decisions to reports on spending for small arms. When archives are open and documents accessible, it is relatively easy for military historians to reconstruct events in which the military participated. When it comes to the military actions of the units in the field, abundant documentation provides for very detailed accounts that sometimes even tend to be overly microscopic. But there are also military organizations, wars, and individual episodes that are more difficult to reconstruct. Sometimes reliable data are lacking or are inaccessible, or...

  13. 8 Kosovo under the Milošević Regime
    (pp. 274-303)
    Dusan Janjić, Anna Lalaj and Besnik Pula

    Slobodan Milošević’s rule over Kosovo (1989–1999) was marked by intense political conflict that led to open rebellion followed by international military intervention. By invoking the so-called ethnic principle, the government he led tried to establish a state in which Serb interests and aspirations would not be threatened by other ethnic groups, particularly by Albanians in Kosovo, but also across the territory of the former Yugoslavia. In Kosovo and elsewhere a premium was placed on “historic rights” and the sanctity of state sovereignty. Albanian leaders responded by building “parallel state” institutions and eventually proclaiming their own independent republic. Both sides...

  14. 9 The War in Kosovo, 1998–1999
    (pp. 304-345)
    James Gow

    With the outbreak of hostilities in the spring of 1998, the Kosovo conflict quickly evolved from a cold war between the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) and the Milošević regime into a full-scale insurrection that pitted the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) against the combined forces of the Yugoslav Army (VJ), Serbian Interior Ministry special police (MUP) and, eventually, an assortment of paramilitary units. Within months the Western powers would intervene to end hostilities, to seek to prevent ethnic cleansing and to encourage a settlement whether by diplomacy or by military action. Each of the three sides had its own set...

  15. 10 The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia
    (pp. 346-389)

    The Prospectus of the Scholars’ Initiative (SI) summarizes the concerns of Group 10 in three questions. “To what extent is the ICTY [International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia] a political body? To what extent is it impartial? To what extent is it anti-Serb?” In the course of our research we have moved away from the attempt to answer them either in simple negative or affirmative terms and have arrived at the conclusion that it is more useful to investigatethe sense in which it might be saidthat the Tribunal is political andthe gap between intention and effect...

  16. 11 Living Together or Hating Each Other?
    (pp. 390-425)

    After years of research by the Scholars’ Initiative, much of the history has already been documented and discussed by the other teams. Team 10 has argued that “if the Scholars’ Initiative has a role to play . . . it must go beyond an aspiration merely to debunk local mythologies, and embrace the task of furthering a more objective general understanding of changes that affect us all.” We take this role seriously and aim to promote efforts to dispel negative myths about the past while exploring ways of gaining an objective or at least more neutral understanding of the 1990s...

  17. 12 Montenegro: A Polity in Flux, 1989–2000
    (pp. 426-456)
    Kenneth Morrison

    Montenegro’s role in the disintegration of Yugoslavia and events within the republic during the critical years under consideration are often overlooked (or treated only superficially) in the plethora of literature focusing on the dissolution of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Socialistićka federativna republika Ju goslavija[SFRY]) and its subsequent wars of disintegration. Montenegro largely avoided war in the 1990s, but as Yugoslavia’s smallest republic it faced numerous challenges as the SFRY dissolved; it was by no means immune from the problems facing neighboring republics. The main focus of this chapter is, therefore, the impact of wider Yugoslav events on...

  18. Appendix: Rosters
    (pp. 457-462)
  19. Index
    (pp. 463-479)
  20. Back Matter
    (pp. 480-480)