The dissolution of Yugoslavia after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, and the struggle for independence amongst those states which comprised the federation, created a collapse in social and civil order which was incited by nationalist tendencies and the collapse of one-party political authority throughout Eastern Europe (Glenny 1992: 32). The struggle for dominance between Croatia under the leadership of Franjo Tudjman, and Serbia under the leadership of Slobodan Milosevic, effectively ended the possibility of an ethnically mixed federal state as Tudjman and Milosevic pursued expansionist policies in order to create ‘ethnically homogeneous States’ (Hartmann 1999: 51). The collapse of communist control in Yugoslavia in 1990, which led to multi-party elections but did not produce democratization, paved the way for the republics of Slovenia and Croatia to assert political autonomy and the right to self-determination, and also reignited Serbian nationalist aspirations, contributing to the struggle for political independence and accelerating the disintegration and chaos which came to reflect the Balkan tragedy (Woodward 1995: 143). Significantly, rather than producing transition to democratic reform, the elections provided a platform for the release of nationalist viewpoints, which sought to legitimize the struggle for territory, increased fears, escalated tensions, exacerbated conflict and pushed the protagonists towards war (a process not helped by external foreign influences seeking to exploit market opportunities and push through economic change at a time of growing fragmentation and chaos) (ibid: 145).
KeywordsFatigue Europe Smoke Librium Ethos
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