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Yugoslavia, the Former and Future

Reflections by Scholars from the Region

Edited by Payam Akhavan and Robert Howse

This book contains a unique collection of essays written by scholars from the former Yugoslavia, exploring the events that led to the devastating disintegration of their homeland. The scholars, who are from the different ethnic groups now in conflict, provide insightful, multicultural perspectives on the crisis.

The essays lead readers to reconsider the assumptions behind the predominant western views of the post-cold war order and the place of ethnic conflict and ethnic nationalism in that order. Most of the authors point to the causes of the federal breakup and the war that are specific to the social, political, and economic situation of Yugoslavia as it evolved since Tito. The existence of these causes, largely ignored in western analysis of the crisis, questions the view that conflicting or overlapping claims of different ethnic groups must result in nationalism and national conflict.

The variety of viewpoints—by scholars from Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia, and Slovenia—provides a much-needed dialogue about the combination of forces, events, and personalities that led to the crisis and offers the opportunity to look ahead to a brighter future for the region. This book is essential reading for everyone who wants a better understanding of what caused the breakup of Yugoslavia, as well as the more general problems of nationalism and post-cold war international struggles.

The contributors are Vojin Dimitrijevic, University of Belgrade; Dusan Janjic, University of Belgrade; Dusan Necak, University of Ljubljana; Albina Necak Luk, University of Ljubljana; Zoran Pajic, University of Sarajevo; Zarko Puhovski, University of Zagreb; Milorad Pupovac, University of Zagreb; and Dragomir Vojnic, University of Zagreb.

Payam Akhavan is a legal adviser at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in the Hague and was formerly a human rights investigator with the United Nations in the former Yugoslavia. Robert Howse, assistant professor of law at the University of Toronto, was Second Secretary at the Canadian Embassy in Belgrade from 1984 to 1986.

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