Archive for the ‘Yugoslavia’ Category

Final Paper – Religion in ECE Nationalism

Thursday, December 13th, 2007

    

Religion’s Role in Yugoslavia and Poland in the Twentieth Century: Evolution of Ethnoreligious Nationalism

by Gary E. Wightman

6 December 2007

                

Dr. Mills Kelly

Hist 635

 

            Religion has played an important role in national politics in East Central Europe during the twentieth century, at times serving the desires of the Church at the national or Papal level, at times serving the desire of the national leaders, at times serving the desires of both the Church and national leaders, and at times serving the advantages of one party at the disadvantage of the other party. Regardless of the benefactor or loser, the Church has been a factor in the nationalism equation during the 1900s,. Indeed, some outsiders have blamed religion as a major catalyst or contributor for some of the wars or atrocities during this period, such as the Holocaust and the Ustashe campaigns during World War II, as well as the Yugoslavian conflict in the 1990s, although some historians of late have refuted this statement to some degree regarding the Yugoslavian conflict. For instance, Donia and Fine in Bosnia and Hercegovina: A Tradition Betrayed, argue that the conflict is not a product of centuries of bad blood over religious conflict and wars in former Yugoslavia. The meaning of  nationalism of the nineteenth century has evolved into ethnonationalism for East Central Europe during the twentieth century in an effort to further refine the definition of Self and Other. Religion has not been relegated to insignificance during this evolution of nationalism. Indeed, religion has played an important role in the evolution of nationalism, so much so that some historians refer to the evolution of nationalism as ethnoreligious nationalism. To investigate this transformation and assess the role and impact of religion on nationalism in East Central Europe, and therefore, on communism, this paper will consider several events during the twentieth century, specifically focusing on the Polish struggle against the Communist regime during the 1980s and conflict in Yugoslavia since World War II. (more…)

The Balkans After the Cold War

Tuesday, December 4th, 2007

Beth Gryczewski

Gallagher, Tom. The Balkans After the Cold War:  From Tyranny to Tragedy. New York:  Routledge, 2003.

In contrast to the Lampe book, Yugoslavia as History: Twice There was A Country, where Lampe tends to lean towards the belief that the breakup of Yugoslavia was inevitable, and tends to blame outsiders for imposing their will on Yugoslavia, (AND, ultimately for the disastrous and bloody breakup of the country), Tom Gallagher, in The Balkans After the Cold War, asserts that the disaster in Yugoslavia was purely the fault of insiders (2). “Yugoslavia unravelled as a functioning entity between 1985 and 1991 largely as a result of decisions taken by internal political actors, not as a result of unfriendly external actions” (2). 

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Bosnia: A Short History

Sunday, December 2nd, 2007

Bosnia: A Short History by Noel Malcolm

Noel Malcolm’s work Bosnia: A Short History is a brief, yet expansive, history of the Eastern European country, inextricably linked with the devastation in the former Yugoslavia. However, Malcolm approaches the region from a much different perspective than many of his contemporary scholars. Malcolm perceives the region not as an inevitable cauldron of political instability and violence, rather as one that was plunged into violence, counter to most of it history. Malcolm’s observations are comprehensive, drawing on all sorts of academic disciplines, like archaeology, to demonstrate his thesis. Ultimately, Malcolm concludes the aggression evident in the region is NOT a result of “ancient, tribal loyalties” but rather as a result of pre-meditated Serbian propaganda and aggression. (more…)

Yugoslavia: a violent cauldron?

Friday, November 30th, 2007
  1. After your reading this week, do you think that Yugoslavia’s breakup was imminent?  Why or why not?  

  2. Do you think Yugoslavia was prone to violence?  Why or why not? 

Here is the intro to my last essay: My last essay focused on the image of Yugoslavia as a politically diverse nation that made it unique among its neighbors in the Balkans, from the beginning of the twentieth century to the present.  Yugoslavia often experienced a different course of events compared to its eastern central European neighbors in World War One, the interwar years, World War Two, the Soviet period, and even after the fall of the Soviet Union.  Some historians are apt to explain this historical uniqueness in universalist or even relativist terms.  Still others have explained Yugoslavia’s history in narratives that succumb to what Sabrina Ramet calls ‘the myth of ancient hatreds’: Noel Malcolm, Mitja Velikonja, Robert Kaplan, Milovan Djilas, and CIA analysts among them. (more…)

Rocking the State

Thursday, November 29th, 2007

Ramet, Sabrina Petra ed. Rocking the State: Rock Music and Politics in Eastern Europe and Russia. Boulder: Westview Press, 1994.

In Rocking the State, Sabrina Ramet compiles a comprehensive account of the socio-political effects of music in the last several decades of communist rule in the Eastern Bloc (with the exception of Albania and Romania which had no political music scene to speak of) and the Soviet Union.  The essays in Rocking the State revolve around the conflicts between proponents of a non-official youth culture and the cultural-commissars of the communist states.  Rocking the State is an appropriate follow up to A Carnival of Revolution as they both center on the destabilizing effects of youth-movements on their respective regimes.  Ramet and her contributors take their analysis of the youth driven musical movements further than the introduction provided by Kenney, addressing the trajectory of music through the eighties into the early nineties from an unofficial catalyst for political and social change into the arena of commodity rock.  Alex Kan and Nick Hayes clearly resent this metamorphosis asking: “Does anybody care if Poles can Rock and Roll with the best of Michael Bolton?” (53) (more…)

Post on Glenny’s, The Fall of Yugoslavia

Thursday, November 29th, 2007

Misha Glenny, The Fall of Yugoslavia: Third Balkan War, 3rd ed. (United States: Penguin Books, 1996), p. 33.

Misha Glenny’s The Fall of Yugoslavia is a highly engaging, yet tragic account of the armed conflict that occurred in Yugoslavia during the 1990s. Glenny discusses the role that nationalism played in causing the conflict. The focus of the book is on the time period roughly between the years of 1990-1993. During this period, relations between people became tense, which led to a senseless, bloody war that took the lives of many Serbians, Croatians, and Albanian Moslems. (more…)

Padriac Kenny’s Carnival of Revolution

Wednesday, November 28th, 2007

By Laszlo Taba

Kenney, Padraic. A Carnival of Revolution:  Central Europe 1989 (2002)

                I have been waiting to read A Carnival of Revolution all semester. I read it for another of Dr. Kelly’s classes, and this time around I enjoyed it more and found it more thought provoking than before, especially after all of the readings and class discussions this semester.  I will keep my general comments about the book brief, as everyone in the class has read it.

                Kenney describes the Central European revolutionary movements in an interesting way. Unlike other books discussed this semester (Eastern Europe in Revolution), Kenney does not confine his discussion to top down analyses that focus on elite politics or economies. He approaches the revolutions from the bottom up, on revolutionary movements and even on single individuals.  For instance, in chapter one he introduces Wladyslaw Frasyniuk. Frasyniuk was an important member of Solidarity and played an important role in the revolutionary movement in Poland, but he is not as well known as, say, Pope John Paul II or Ronald Reagan. (more…)

Matt Hobbs – Glenny’s “The Fall of Yugoslavia”

Tuesday, November 27th, 2007

Trying to conceive of European metropolitan capitals and bucolic rural countryside as the setting for vicious genocide and internecine conflict at the close of the twentieth century can cause cognitive dissidence for those who have seen the Continent in casual tourism. Mental images in collective memory of the world wars leave grainy, black and white images of destruction and physical suffering, safely removed by decades of time. The breakup of the Yugoslav republic in the 1990s, however, challenged these conceptions by throwing stark light onto struggles of incredible violence and ferocity, enacted very publically in a part of the world which, while certainly not Paris is London, was certainly no backwater.

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Glenny – The Fall of Yugoslavia

Tuesday, November 27th, 2007

Misha Glenny, The Fall of Yugoslavia; The Third Balkan War (New York, NY: Penguin Books, 1994)

 

Working as the Central Europe correspondent of the BBC World Service, Misha Glenny was in a prime position to detail the collapse of Yugoslavia and the outbreak of war in Croatia and Bosnia during the early 1990s. Glenny’s style is informative, concise, and witty. He needs all of these attributes to help the reader make sense of such a confusing situation.

Glenny first chronicles the push for independence by Slovenia and Croatia that sparked the beginning of the violence. He then argues that the quick recognition of Slovenia and Croatia as independent countries by the rest of Europe and by the U.S. basically guaranteed that war would break out in Bosnia. Glenny’s point here is that with Slovenia and Croatia gone, the Bosnian government was forced to choose between staying in a rump Yugoslavia totally dominated by Serbia (an option that was unacceptable to the Croatian and Muslim inhabitants of Bosnia) or claiming Bosnian independence (an option that was equally unacceptable to Bosnian Serbs). The result of being forced into this choice was a bloody and brutal civil war.

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A History of Kosovo

Monday, November 26th, 2007

Beth Gryczewski

Vickers, Miranda. Between Serb and Albanian: A History of Kosovo. New York: Columbia University Press, 1998.

How timely that in today’s issue of the Washington Post, The Outlook Section, Richard Holbrooke pontificates on the state of affairs in the Balkans, and how Europe, East Europe, the United States and Yugoslavia all contributed to the simmering turmoil that is happening in Kosovo now (“Back to the Brink in the Balkans,” B7). Holbrooke argues that it’s probably long overdue for Kosovo to declare its independence from Serbia, but he also recognizes that when independence is declared, it will probably send the entire region back into bloody chaos (Post B7). As Holbrooke was involved in the original Dayton Peace Accord, he is well informed of the situation in the region. Holbrooke argues that a whole new bloodbath in Bosnia can be avoided (when Kosovo secedes) if the Bush administration puts this issue on the front-burner, and works with Putin to prevent any further bloodshed (Post B7).

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