Exploring the dynamics of the Yugoslav crisis
Moller, Gerald Axel
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This thesis explores the dynamics of the Yugoslav conflict. Three factors stand out as especially important: ethnic nationalism, economic dislocation, and changes in the international security environment. Ethnic nationalism has been manifest in the competition for territory and political dominance among the Serbs, Croats, Bosnian Muslims, and others. This ethnic nationalism has centuries-old roots, but came to the fore in the 1980s, owing to the death of Tito in 1980 and the economic setbacks of the 1980s, which led to a search for scapegoats and intensified inter-ethnic mistrust and rivalry. The most important change in the security environment was the collapse of the Soviet Union, which helped to precipitate the conflict in the former Yugoslavia. The Soviet threat was no longer present to unit the component nationalities of the Yugoslav federation and to oblige them to cooperate. The Yugoslav conflict may spread unless international security institutions such as NATO and the United Nations can devise solutions. Their failure in this effort to contain and resolve the conflict could set a dangerous example.
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