Differences in Patterns During the Yugoslav Wars

Differences in Patterns of Violence Between Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia-Hercegovina

The collapse of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was a steady and increasingly violent process of disintegration of a multiethnic state that prided itself for bringing harmony and stability to a traditionally fractious region[1]. Yugoslavia’s collapse had two primary patterns of breakdown. One pattern, seen in Slovenia and Macedonia, was largely peaceful, leading to little ongoing conflict. The other pattern, seen in Croatia, Bosnia-Hercegovina and Kosovo, was one of ethnic warfare, massacres, war crimes, and conflict resolution imposed from the outside by foreign powers. This essay will argue that, after a review of the literature, it is clear that among many, three factors that influenced these different outcomes. These were the specific ethnic and political factors of each secesssionary region, the changing ideology of the Serbian-dominated Yugoslav government, and effect that foreign intervention had on the political calculus of each actor in each situation. This essay, for reasons of brevity, will only discuss the examples of Slovenia, Croatia, and Bosnia-Hercegovina.

Yugoslavia had been politically dominated by Serbia since its creation in 1918, but was a diverse state, comprised of many ethnic and religious groups with strong identities[2]. The 1974 Yugoslav Constitution established six “nations”, each with its own “republic” and right to a cultural and political autonomy[3]. These groups were the Serbs, Muslims (or Bosniaks), Croats, Slovenes, Montenegrins and Macedonians[4]. It also established “nationalities”, smaller groups, often with a homeland outside of the territory of Yugoslavia[5]. The “nationalities” were not given the same degree of political independence as the “nations”, but were given cultural autonomy, with independent schools and media[6]. This category included large groups such as Albanians and Hungarians, concentrated in the Serbian “autonomous regions” of Kosovo and Vojvodina respectively[7], as well as smaller, more geographically dispersed groups like Turks, Vlachs and Romanies[8]. While these nations and nationalities existed and were recognized by the Constitution, the long existence of Yugoslavia as a unified, peaceful state meant that members of the various ethnic groups were distributed around Yugoslavia, with large minority populations everywhere, especially in Serbia[9], Croatia[10], and Bosnia-Hercegovina[11].

Yugoslavia’s process of fragmentation began in the late 1980s. Throughout the 1970s, the Yugoslav economy had been damaged by economic mismanagement, especially of the shocks created by the soaring price of oil[12]. Yugoslavia, which imported the majority of its energy, had its already large trade deficit ballooned by the cost of petroleum[13]. As well, the country’s economy, based on a unique system of worker self-management with large parts of the economy under state control, had become incredibly inefficient, with low worker productivity, high wages, and substantial production and transport bottlenecks created by inefficient firms and state planning[14].  Yet at this point, the Yugoslav state was still able to borrow cheaply from the West due to its “non-aligned” position in the Cold War. Therefore, the central government took massive loans to cover these costs[15].

At the same time as the country’s economy was starting to show cracks, Yugoslavia’s 1974 Constitution drastically decentralized the country’s government. It introduced a system by which only a consensus of the leaders of each republic and autonomous region (Kosovo and Vojvodina), plus the President of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia (LCY) could make major decisions[16]. This new system made making decisions, even in a crisis extremely difficult.  The system’s flaws were not initially a significant problem due to the continued presence of Yugoslavia’s longtime strongman Marshall Josip Broz, also known as “Tito”. Tito, a Croat and leader of the Communist Partisan resistance during the Second World War, had run the country with a steady hand and a personality cult[17]. Tito managed to balance the various factions in postwar Yugoslavia and had seen the country develop and prosper under his rule[18]. Tito, in the 1974 Constitution, had been proclaimed President for life[19], but by this point had largely retreated away from the everyday business of governing, instead acted as a sort of elder statesman, advising the country’s new leadership and representing it abroad, where he remained popular[20].

This reliance on Tito would be unfortunate for the Yugoslav system, as he passed away in May 1980[21]. Without his robust leadership, and with the economy falling into a severe recession, the country was in trouble[22]. The Yugoslav government appealed to the West for aid. In response, the IMF, supported by the United States and the European Community (EC), intervened in the Yugoslav economy[23]. They propped up the government through loans, which the government was unable to get on international markets due to exorbitantly high interest rates[24]. The IMF would then force the Yugoslav government to enact painful restructuring policies. These policies included wholesale privatization of state-owned companies, deregulation of industry, massive liberalizing reforms to the labour market, elimination or reduction of many import tariffs, the elimination of consumer subsidies, and the dismantling of the unique system of worker self-management[25]. This caused immense pain to the Yugoslav economy. Unemployment and poverty exploded, with the percentage of citizens living in poverty rising by half[26]. The country’s GDP itself shrank throughout the 1980s, while inflation exploded as the national currency plummeted in value[27]. These problems became a feedback loop, as government austerity reduced the demand for goods, which hurt the economy and government tax receipts more, forcing the government to borrow more money and enact more austerity[28].

With this economic crisis consuming the country for nearly a decade, the LCY started to become discredited in the eyes of the people[29]. This loss of faith was compounded by the rise of greater political liberty in the once authoritarian state. Another condition of Western economic aid and debt forgiveness had been the liberalization of the political system. Thus, the Communists had to compete with new political rivals just as the Yugoslav economy was collapsing around them[30]. Moreover, the main ideological competition to the fallen Communists was ethnic nationalism, which went directly against the Communist ideals of brotherhood and its policies of multiculturalism[31].

The first territories to become restless within the federal framework of Yugoslavia were Slovenia and Croatia[32]. Slovenia and Croatia, the northernmost, predominantly Catholic republics of Yugoslavia, were also its wealthiest[33]. Their economies were substantially more integrated into the economies of Western Europe (especially Germany) than the other republics [34]. Trade relationships with the West and the presence of relatively more export-oriented industry became much more important during the 1980s, as they gave Slovenia and Croatia access to Western markets, which grew in importance as the domestic Yugoslav economy imploded[35]. This economic gap with the rest of Yugoslavia, which as part of the federal system led to major transfers of wealth from the successful Slovenes and Croats to their poorer compatriots to the south, reinforced growing nationalist sentiment[36]. This feeling was increased during the throes of the economic crisis due to simultaneous policies of centralization coming from the Yugoslav national government, which demanded more power at the center in order to carry out IMF-ordered economic reforms[37]. Due to this increasing pressure, Slovenia and Croatia began to agitate for more autonomy from the central government in Belgrade, or even independence[38].

The rise of Slovene nationalism came first. Slovene Communists had been more politically liberal than those of any of the other republics, and a pro-democracy student-led movement had been active since the mid 1980s[39]. As well, Slovenia had remained effectively ethnically homogenous throughout the existence of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia[40]. By 1990, the Slovenian Democratic Alliance rose as a major opposition group, and the Communist government legalized multiparty elections, themselves running in the elections on a platform of greater autonomy for Slovenia within the federal framework of Yugoslavia[41]. This sparked significant hostility from the Serb-dominated Yugoslav leadership, which wanted increased centralization. The final split between the Yugoslav (i.e., Serbian) leadership and the Slovenian leadership would come at the LCY’s 14th Party Conference, where the League of Communists was dissolved, with each regional party now a wholly independent entity[42]. This created an incentive for each federal republic’s Communist party to appeal to its own region’s nationalism, further dividing the country. Slovenia would declare its independence on June 26 1991, the first republic of many to do so[43].

Croatian nationalism was another powerful force with a long and checkered history. The last incarnation of a sovereign Croatia was the Independent State of Croatia, an Axis client state run by the Ustaše, a fascist paramilitary group[44]. It was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Serbs, Muslims, Jews and Romanies during the course of the war[45]. Croatian nationalism had also reared its head in the early 1970s, during the “Croatian Spring”, which was crushed by the Yugoslav government and its supporters purged[46]. However, by the end of the 1980s, Croatian nationalism had embraced democracy through the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), a conservative democratic political party led by former Partisan and later dissident Franco Tudjman[47]. The HDZ, wiping out the former ruling Communists in the April/May 1990 election, campaigned on a platform of Croatian nationalism, and promised to make Croat into a “constitutionally, a state of Croats”[48]. This brought back unnerving memories of the Independent State for the large Croatian Serb minority concentrated in the Krajina region of Croatia[49], especially as the highly ethno-nationalistic Croatian Diaspora continued to provide massive monetary and political support to the new government, encouraging secession from Yugoslavia[50]. The Serb population of Croatia attempted to split themselves off of the Croatian state in order to remain within the now Serbian-dominated Yugoslavia[51]. This would become problematic as Croatia declared its independence in June 1991, one day after Slovenia[52].

Bosnia was somewhat of a different situation. The republic of Bosnia-Hercegovina lacked a majority ethnic group at all. Instead, the region was split up amongst Orthodox Serbs, Catholic Croats and Muslims, making up roughly 33%, 18% and 40% of the population respectively[53]. Different regions of the country, as well as different districts of its capital city of Sarajevo, had their own ethnic majority populations[54]. The three groups had traditionally held distinctive places in Bosnian society, but had managed to live harmoniously for centuries, with few interruptions[55]. However, by the beginning of the 1990s, the Muslims had begun to agitate for an independent state, allying with predominantly Muslim Albanian separatists in Kosovo and pleading with the United States for aid[56]. Alija Izetbegovic, leader of the primary Muslim Party of Democratic Action (SDA), declared that Bosnia would stay united as a single state, with Croatian and Serbian minorities under Muslim rule[57]. Both the Serbs, supported by the Serbian-dominated Yugoslav government, and the Croats, supported by newly independent Croatia, opposed this plan[58]. Both groups would begin planning for declarations of independence from any new Bosnian state, setting the stage for massive ethnic conflict[59].

While the particular social and economic characteristics and political “dramas” of each republic affected their propensity for violent ethnic conflict, the changing ideology and makeup of the federal government of Yugoslavia was also extremely important. Yugoslavia had become completely dominated by Serbia as Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia agitated for independence, and became increasingly guided by an ideology of Serbian ethnic nationalism[60]. Serbs began to agitate for a crackdown on the ethnic nationalists of the other states in order to keep Yugoslavia together and “protect Serbian minorities” in other republics[61]. While the Communist system had been discredited, much of the old Party quickly embraced ethnic nationalism, including the now-President of the Serbian republic, Slobodan Milosevic[62].

Milosevic had, throughout his career, been a relatively undistinguished politician and bureaucrat, with an aversion to further liberalization of the Yugoslav political system[63]. Milosevic had generally followed the Party line on issues relating to ethnic nationalism, expressing “no particular interest in the national question except to attack nationalism and praise Tito’s policies”[64]. But in April 1987, Milosevic, now head of the Belgrade branch of the Communist Party, travelled to Kosovo and gave a speech attacking Kosovar separatists and defending the rights of ethnic Serbs there[65]. Milosevic’s star would continue to rise politically, eventually becoming the undisputed leader of Serbia[66]. In December 1990, following the election of nationalist parties in Slovenia and Croatia, Serbia faced its own election dominated by the ‘national question’[67].

Milosevic, representing the Socialist Party of Serbia, a successor party to the old Communists, ran on a populist platform. This mixed promises to halt government austerity measures and increase state intervention in the economy with and Serbian nationalism and irredentism, particularly in relation to Kosovo[68]. This type of nationalist rhetoric was necessary to win the national election, as the main opposition to Milosevic’s Socialist Party was the Serbian Renewal Movement, an ultranationalist group led by writer and intellectual Vuk Drašković, which unapologetically called for a Greater Serbia that included Kosovo, Montenegro, Macedonia, and parts of Croatia and Bosnia, to ruled as a strictly Serbian nation-state[69]. The national discourse in Serbia had changed relatively quickly. The populace of Serbia wanted to hold Yugoslavia together as a Serb-dominated state, with multiethnic Yugoslavia all but a dead idea, discredited along with the LCY[70]. This meant that a high priority was placed on defending Serb-majority areas by any means necessary, as opposed to finding a peaceful compromise that could somehow keep the country together, or at least allow for a peaceful dissolution of the country[71]. As secession began to appear more and more likely in Croatia and Slovenia, Milosevic ordered the Yugoslavia Peoples’ Army (JNA), the federal military, to crack down on separatism and protect minority groups, which of course mostly meant Serbs[72].

With the military deployed into Croatia, Slovenia and Bosnia, with the intention of halting any attempted secession with military force, there was obviously a significant backlash against the army in these areas. The military, which had previously been seen as one of the few remaining multiethnic, neutral, and truly Yugoslav institutions, was now seen as a tool of Serbian domination[73]. It was disliked most strongly in Croatia, which had seen the 1971 “Croatian Spring” nationalist revival crushed by the JNA[74]. Many Croatian and Slovenian soldiers and officers had, throughout the ongoing secession debate, defected to their nascent republican militias, leaving the JNA dominated by Serbs and Montenegrins, who had generally sided with the Serbs throughout the ongoing Yugoslav crises[75]. This made the army into what the Slovenes and Croats feared most, a Serb-controlled force bent on enforcing a Serb-controlled state. The JNA began to position armed units throughout Croatia and Bosnia, and heavily garrisoned the Serb-majority Krajina region of Croatia[76]. The Serbs of the Krajina had, in reaction to the Croatian movement towards secession, attempted to secede from Croatia and unify with Serbia. They launched a secessionist campaign by blockading roads and forming paramilitary groups[77]. The Krajina Serbs argued that Croatia had no right to secede and that they, as Serbs, wanted to remain in Serb-ruled Yugoslavia[78]. After Croatia declared its independence in June 1991, pressure steadily began to rise between these largely segregated pieces of Croatian territory[79].

Armed conflict would erupt in August 1991, as JNA troops entered Slovenia and attempted to forcibly integrate it back into Yugoslavia[80]. This short war would go badly for the JNA, as Slovene forces were heavily armed with smuggled, mostly German weapons[81]. JNA forces beat a hasty retreat back to Croatia, where they would aid the attempted suppression of Croatia’s secession. The largely homogenous and geographically peripheral Slovenes would be abandoned and left alone by the Serbian government, who now cared more about protecting Serbs and a Greater Serbia than keeping the country together[82].

Croatia was another story. As JNA forces had left the country to fight in Slovenia, militia of the Croatian National Guard began to clash with Krajina Serb paramilitaries, who had been reinforced by ultranationalists from Serbia proper[83]. These clashes, which were extremely violent, were centered in the town of Vukovar, a Croat-majority town in a Serb-majority district. The JNA’s role had definitively changed:

…with the conflict in Vukovar, for the first time the JNA actively confronted the Croatian forces, fighting in defense of Serbian rights, rather than merely seeking to act as a buffer between the opposing sides.[84]

When the JNA intervened in Vukovar and the rest of Krajina, attempting to uphold its independence from Croatia, National Guard units fought back, and began to besiege JNA garrisons throughout Croatian territory[85]. JNA units continued to fight however, defeating Croatian forces in many places, and attempting to establish “the viability and cohesion of Serbian territories in Croatia”[86]. This campaign would end by December 1991, as the much of the European Community, led by Germany, recognized Croatian and Slovenian independence and pushed for a negotiated ceasefire[87].

The Bosnian conflict, by far the deadliest of the Yugoslav wars, was also exacerbated by the shifting discourse in Serbia. Bosnia, with its divided population, was ripe for civil war. Bosnia had largely disengaged from Yugoslavia by the time that Croatia and Slovenia had seceded, turning inward to try to resolve its own emerging ethnic conflicts[88]. The Croatian and Slovenian secession increased ethnic tensions in Bosnia significantly, as well as set a precedent of “legitimate” secession. A parliamentary vote concerning a proposed independence referendum took place in October 1991 in the republic’s legislature, with the Serb parties boycotting the vote[89]. This broke a longstanding tradition of consensus between all three major ethnic groups before any major decision would be taken. The referendum, held on March 1 1992, was boycotted by the Bosnian Serbs and passed by a wide margin of 92.7% of voters in favour of secession[90]. This led to a Bosnian declaration of independence from Yugoslavia on March 3 1992[91]. Within a few days, Serb forces had mobilized and declared their secession from Bosnia as the Serb Republic of Bosnia-Hercegovina, or the “Republika Srpska”[92]. Three years of grinding warfare would follow, primarily pitting Serbian separatists against Muslim and Croat forces[93]. There was periodic conflict between the Croats and Muslims, which ended in a NATO-backed ceasefire in order to focus on the campaign against the Serbs[94]. All sides committed widespread ethnic cleansing[95], with Serbian paramilitaries responsible for the most well publicized events such as the Srebrenica Massacre, where approximately 8000 Muslim men and boys were summarily executed[96]. The ethnic divisions of Bosnia-Hercegovina have continued to this day, with the country beset by an inability for its actors to work with or trust one another as they once did[97].

While the individual characteristics of each republic and the changing nature of the Yugoslav federal government affected the level of violence seen in each region, international intervention in secession of each republic and the reaction of the Yugoslav government to this intervention was another important factor. International interference, primarily by Germany and the United States, would change the balance of power in each conflict, encouraging or discouraging secessionism and/or intervention by the Yugoslav central government.

In Slovenia and Croatia, international intervention primarily came from Germany, and more broadly the European Community. Germany had significant economic interests in both republics, and wanted them to become part of their economic and political ‘sphere of influence’ in Central Europe[98]. Germany, in order to secure this influence, began to encourage secessionism in both Slovenia and Croatia, using its political power within Europe to pull the rest of the EC along with them[99]. For example, Germany refused to sign the Maastricht Treaty, an extremely important agreement that, among other things, established the existence of the Euro, unless the major players of the European Community would recognize the sovereignty of Slovenia and Croatia shortly after their declarations of independence[100]. German intervention likely did not stop at diplomatic support either. A meaningful amount of surplus East German military equipment were purportedly smuggled into Slovenia and Croatia in violation of an international arms embargo, most notably a Croatian MiG-25 fighter jet that was shot down by Serbian forces[101].

The existence of this German support would alter the balance of power in each conflict, and would change the decision-making calculus both of the leaders of the republics and of Yugoslavia’s government. In Slovenia and Croatia, German diplomatic and logistical support emboldened them, making them more confident about possible confrontation with the more numerous and better-equipped JNA, and likely had an effect in convincing them to unilaterally secede from Yugoslavia[102]. The calculus modification in Yugoslavia was slightly different. While the potential cost of confrontation became significantly higher with competent Slovenian and Croatian armies, there was still the concern of protecting Serbs. In the case of Slovenia, the substantial and unexpected resistance that Slovenian forces had given to the JNA offensive of late June, as well as the absence of substantial Serb communities in the territory, pushed the Yugoslavs into letting Slovenia go[103]. This made the confrontation with Slovenia relatively bloodless. In Croatia’s case however, JNA forces were not only much more prepared to fight a real war, but had the added motivation to stay and fight to protect the Krajina Serbs from feared Croatian depredations[104]. This led to a full-blown military confrontation between the two sides, with the JNA throwing its full weight into defeating Croatian troops on the battlefield with both Croat and Serb civilians caught in the crossfire[105].

In Bosnia, intervention came primarily from the United States. The Americans, who had been generally supportive of a united Yugoslavia, changed policies as it saw Germany gaining unchallenged influence in the northern Balkans[106]. American support for the Muslims of Bosnia-Hercegovina was initially strictly diplomatic, although there is evidence that the Americans armed, or at least turned a blind eye to the arming of Muslim paramilitaries[107]. American interference in the region would continue to escalate throughout the Bosnian War though, first with NATO peacekeepers deployed almost exclusively to protect Muslims from Croat and Serb militias, and eventually with airstrikes and open logistical support for the Muslim-Croat alliance against the Republika Srpska[108]. American intervention, like German intervention, would embolden Bosnian Muslim leaders in their confrontation with Yugoslavia[109]. The United States however was much more feared by Yugoslavia than Germany, which curtailed the amount of direct support that the JNA and Yugoslav government was willing to give to Bosnian Serb militias[110]. This, in many ways, actually exacerbated the conflict’s brutality, as the real fighting on all sides was left primarily to untrained local militias and volunteer ultranationalist paramilitary fighters. These groups, such as the ruthless Arkan’s Tigers, both lacked the military professionalism of the JNA and embraced eliminationist rhetoric and actions, including ethnic cleansing and massacres, as a matter of course[111]. While eventually the Bosnian Muslims proved victorious with the aid of NATO air power, Bosnia, once a tolerant and prosperous region, was left in ruins as a single country, run by UN administrators and struggling to re-integrate its now mutually suspicious ethnic groups[112].

The Yugoslav Wars were a major tragedy. A country that had been so successful in unifying a diverse array of peoples with longstanding tensions and conflicts into a functional egalitarian state collapsed into a blood-soaked patchwork of bickering, shattered states, rife with the traumas of ethnic conflict and crimes against humanity. Yet, parts of Yugoslavia had drastically different experiences, with the Serbian saying “južnije ideš, tužnije postaje[i]” being an extremely apt description. Slovenia’s secession was relatively bloodless, while Croatia’s secession was violent, and Bosnia’s secession was even more so. Some reasons that these different attempts at secession had different outcomes were the specific ethnic, political and geographic factors of each secesssionary region, the changing ideology of the Serb-dominated government in Belgrade, and the effect that foreign intervention had on the political calculus of each actor.


[i] Translating as “The farther south you go, the sadder it gets”.


[1] Kate Hudson, Breaking the South Slav Dream: The Rise and Fall of Yugoslavia (London: Pluto Press, 2003), 1-2

[2] Hugh Poulton, The Balkans: Minorities and States in Conflict (London: Minority Rights Publications, 1993), 5-6

[3] Ibid

[4] Ibid

[5] Ibid

[6] Hudson, South Slav Dream, 50-51

[7] Poulton, The Balkans, 11-12

[8] Poulton, The Balkans, 12

[9] Poulton, The Balkans, 15-25

[10] Poulton, The Balkans, 29-31

[11] Poulton, The Balkans, 15, 29, 39

[12] Hudson, South Slav Dream, 58

[13] Ibid

[14] Duncan Wilson, Tito’s Yugoslavia, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1979), 234-238

[15] Wilson, Tito’s Yugoslavia, 230-233

[16] Constitution of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Articles 248-358, (pg. 272-277)

[17] Wilson, Tito’s Yugoslavia, 60-76

[18] Wilson, Tito’s Yugoslavia, 208-224

[19] Constitution, Article 333 (pg. 265)

[20] Wilson, Tito’s Yugoslavia, 244-245

[21] Poulton, The Balkans, 10

[22] Hudson, South Slav Dream, 56-60

[23] Hudson, South Slav Dream, 58-61

[24] Hudson, South Slav Dream, 58

[25] Hudson, South Slav Dream, 58-61

[26] Hudson, South Slav Dream, 60

[27] Ibid

[28] Hudson, South Slav Dream, 61-62

[29] Hudson, South Slav Dream, 63

[30] Hudson, South Slav Dream, 63-68

[31] Poulton, The Balkans, 6, 10-11

[32] Poulton, The Balkans, 29-38

[33] Hudson, South Slav Dream, 73-75

[34] Ibid

[35] Hudson, South Slav Dream, 61-63, 73-75

[36] Hudson, South Slav Dream, 73-75

[37] Ibid

[38] Poulton, The Balkans, 29-38

[39] Hudson, South Slav Dream, 75-77

[40] Poulton, The Balkans, 35

[41] Hudson, South Slav Dream, 75-77

[42] Hudson, South Slav Dream, 78

[43] Hudson, South Slav Dream, 85-86

[44] Hudson, South Slav Dream, 29-30

[45] Ibid

[46] Poulton, The Balkans, 31

[47] Poulton, The Balkans, 31-33

[48] Hudson, South Slav Dream, 79

[49] Ibid

[50] Ibid

[51] Hudson, South Slav Dream, 90

[52] Hudson, South Slav Dream, 89

[53] Poulton, The Balkans, 15, 29, 39-41

[54] Hudson, South Slav Dream, 103

[55] Hudson, South Slav Dream, 105-107

[56] Ibid

[57] Ibid

[58] Hudson, South Slav Dream, 108

[59] Ibid

[60] Hudson, South Slav Dream, 73-74

[61] Ibid

[62] Hudson, South Slav Dream, 68-71

[63] Tim Judah, The Serbs: History, Myth, and the Destruction of Yugoslavia, (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1997), 160-161

[64] Judah, The Serbs, 162

[65] Ibid

[66] Ibid

[67] Judah, The Serbs, 165

[68] Judah, The Serbs, 165-167

[69] Hudson, South Slav Dream, 95

[70] Judah, The Serbs, 158-160

[71] Ibid

[72] Judah, The Serbs, 168-170

[73] Ibid

[74] Wilson, Tito’s Yugoslavia, 197-199

[75] Hudson, South Slav Dream, 92-93

[76] Judah, The Serbs, 172

[77] Judah, The Serbs, 174-175

[78] Ibid

[79] Ibid

[80] Hudson, South Slav Dream, 86-87

[81] Ibid

[82] Ibid

[83] Hudson, South Slav Dream, 95

[84] Ibid

[85] Hudson, South Slav Dream, 96

[86] Hudson, South Slav Dream, 97

[87] Hudson, South Slav Dream, 98-102

[88] Hudson, South Slav Dream, 103

[89] Hudson, South Slav Dream, 109-110

[90] Ibid

[91] Hudson, South Slav Dream, 111

[92] Judah, The Serbs, 202-203

[93] Ibid

[94] Hudson, South Slav Dream, 115

[95] Hudson, South Slav Dream, 116-118

[96] Judah, The Serbs, 300-301

[97] Hudson, South Slav Dream, 122

[98] Hudson, South Slav Dream, 91

[99] Ibid

[100] Hudson, South Slav Dream, 100

[101] Hudson, South Slav Dream, 92

[102] Judah, The Serbs, 170-171

[103] Judah, The Serbs, 178

[104] Judah, The Serbs, 180

[105] Judah, The Serbs, 168-190

[106] Hudson, South Slav Dream, 112

[107] Hudson, South Slav Dream, 114-115

[108] Hudson, South Slav Dream, 116-117

[109] Hudson, South Slav Dream, 112

[110] Hudson, South Slav Dream, 113

[111] Judah, The Serbs, 184-185, 207, 256

[112] Hudson, South Slav Dream, 122

Bibliography

Hudson, Kate, Breaking the South Slav Dream: The Rise and Fall of Yugoslavia (London: Pluto Press, 2003), 1-2

Judah, Tim, The Serbs: History, Myth, and the Destruction of Yugoslavia, (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1997), 160-161

Poulton, Hugh, The Balkans: Minorities and States in Conflict (London: Minority Rights Publications, 1993), 5-6

Saideman, Stephen, The Ties That Divide: Ethnic Politics, Foreign Policy, and International Conflict, (New York: Columbia University Press, 2001)

Wilson, Duncan, Tito’s Yugoslavia, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1979), 234-238

Constitution of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, ed. Dragoljub Durović (Ljubljana: Dopisna Delavska Univerza, 1974)


Written by: Alexander Langer
Written at: McGill University
Written for: Elizabeth Elbourne
Date written: April 2012 

  • MI

    It’s a nice article overall, still I would like to make some remarks.

    Regarding statement at footnote #74 – I am not sure that there can be a valid statement tha JNA has crushed the Maspok movement; some of its smaller units were deployed in hunt of the armed groups of Croatian extreme nationalist, but these groups were on the fringes of the movement anyway. The resolution of the crisis was political, by far and large.

    Regarding statement at footnote #101 – there were no MIG-25 fighters in JNA arsenal, nor were there any pilots trained to use it on either side. I haven’t checked the “South Slav Dream” reference, it might be just a spelling mistake.

    Regarding the transfer of wealth from Croatia and Slovenia – in the middle of ’60s the special federal fund for development of so-called “passive areas” was established in a permanent form. The threshold was set at the 100% of Yugoslav GDP; any of the 8 regions (6 republics plus 2 provinces within Serbia) that had a GDP over that threshold became donors to the fund. These regions were Slovenia, Croatia, Vojvodina and Serbia proper. Other 4 regions –  Bosnia, Montenegro, Kosovo and Macedonia were the beneficiaries. This division between the regions was unchanged until the breakup. The setup quickly became a burden for two regions – Bosnia and Serbia proper (Serbia without Kosovo and Vojvodina). Bosnia received far less money from the fund relative to its size, on a basis that it had a large number of army installations and military-industrial plants, which were seen as a way of federal investment in the province. Serbia proper had a different problem. By the beginning of ’70s Serbia’s GDP has slipped below the threshold (100% Yugoslav GDP) but it was still required to send money to the federal fund. By the mid ’80s, Serbia proper had about a 1/3 of all the undeveloped municipalities in Yugoslavia. This issue gave much credence to the Serbian bickering against the entire setup of the country (along with the so-called Blue Book affair regarding Serbia’s institutional arrangements vis-a-vis its provinces), which started in mid ’70s, about 10 years before Milosevic became a household name.

    Sorry for the long comment :) and keep up the good work!