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Confronting the Yugoslav Controversies

A Scholar's Initiative, 2nd edition

edited by Charles Ingrao and Thomas A. Emmert

Publication Year: 2012

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.

Published by: Purdue University Press


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pp. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. 2-5


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pp. v-vi

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Preface to second edition

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pp. vii-viii

When the first edition of this book appeared in January 2009 we stressed that the findings of our eleven research teams hardly represented the final word on the subject, but merely a first installment in a process that we hoped to continue by incorporating newly uncovered material and responses to constructive criticism. ...

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pp. ix-xii

Given the multilateral nature of this project, it is impossible to acknowledge fully all of those who contributed materially to its completion. We begin, therefore, with an apology to the many scholars, program officers, editors, journalists, and public officials who advanced the project’s agenda, but whose names do not appear below. ...

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pp. 1-11

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 ...

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1. The Dissolution of Yugoslavia

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pp. 12-47

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). ...

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2. Kosovo under Autonomy, 1974–1990

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pp. 48-81

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, ...

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3. Independence and the Fate of Minorities, 1991–1992

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pp. 82-113

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. ...

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4. Ethnic Cleansing and War Crimes, 1991–1995

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pp. 114-153

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 ...

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5. The International Community and the FRY/Belligerents, 1989–1997

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pp. 154-201

For almost four decades after World War II, the international community supported socialist nonaligned Yugoslavia as a symbolic and even strategic crossroads 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 ...

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6. Safe Areas

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pp. 202-231

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 ...

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7. The War in Croatia, 1991–1995

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pp. 232-273

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. ...

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8. Kosovo under the Milošević Regime

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pp. 274-303

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, ...

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9. The War in Kosovo, 1998–1999

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pp. 304-345

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) ...

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10. The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

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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?” ...

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11. Living Together or Hating Each Other?

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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.” ...

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12. Montenegro: A Polity in Flux, 1989–2000

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pp. 426-456

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 (Socialistička federativna republika Jugoslavija [SFRY]) and its subsequent wars of disintegration. ...

Appendix: Rosters

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pp. 457-462


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pp. 463-479

E-ISBN-13: 9781612492285
E-ISBN-10: 1612492282
Print-ISBN-13: 9781557536174
Print-ISBN-10: 1557536171

Page Count: 460
Publication Year: 2012

Edition: Second Edition

OCLC Number: 867740664
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Confronting the Yugoslav Controversies

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Yugoslavia -- History -- 1992-2003.
  • Former Yugoslav republics -- History.
  • Yugoslavia -- Ethnic relations -- History -- 20th century.
  • Former Yugoslave republics -- Ethnic relations -- History -- 20th century.
  • Ethnic conflict -- Yugoslavia -- History -- 20th century.
  • Ethnic conflict -- Former Yugoslav republics -- History -- 20th century.
  • Yugoslav War, 1991-1995.
  • Kosovo War, 1998-1999.
  • Kosovo (Republic) -- History -- 1980-2008.
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