SP216 LECTURE NOTES (2014) Dr. Brendan Flynn. WARNING! Rote ‘ learning-off ’ of my lectures and their verbatim reproduction will earn a student a very low grade in the exam. COPYING AND CITATION of this material for the purposes of essays is prohibited.
Rote ‘learning-off’ of my lectures and their verbatim reproduction will earn a student a very low grade in the exam.
COPYING AND CITATION of this material for the purposes of essays is prohibited.
What states lie within the Balkans?
What is distinctive about a Balkan style of politics?
How should we view the region-a “backwards region”?
Why did Yugoslavia collapse so violently in 1991-1999?
(Sept 15th 2014)
The BALKANs-an introduction
Please note the importance of doing the
basic introductory reading to go with and
make sense of these notes. Moreover, to
master this topic, you will have to do the
more advanced reading that has been
indicated as relevant for the exam. These
readings are itemized in the course outline.
This is a region where very new and quite small states have emerged very recently-and may continue to emerge!
State-making and breaking is a risky and sometimes bloody business.
We can expect the unexpected perhaps from the Balkans...?
Note: relevance here for Scotland?
BALKANS VERY MUCH IN THE NEWS....
2013: Croatia joins the EU after some difficulties while BiH in deadlock
2010: German Foreign Minister: "Bosnia-Herzegovina clearly has a future in Europe but the road to Europe is only through internal unity, through internal unification"
2008: EU funds for Bulgaria and Romania
‘suspended due to systematic corruption mismanagement’
2008: Kosovo declares controversial independence
2007: Romania and Bulgaria joined EU in 2007
2006: Montenegro votes to leave Serbia, Croatian
entry to EU delayed till 2010.
2000-2003: Macedonia crisis-not really resolved.
1999: Kosovo crisis-NATO’S only war!
1991-1996: Yugoslav Civil War-massive scale.....
Fast changing region.....matters to us/EU?
The Austrian and Serb foreign ministers meet and greet
August 29th Merkel organised a Western Balkans conference in Aug.29th
“"All states in the Western Balkans should have the opportunity to join the European Union if they fulfill the accession requirements," .
The big background issues were the orientation of Serbia (a traditional ally of Russia-would she continue to seek EU membership? Secondly, the fear of Russian ‘action’ in Ukraine is probably creating some incentives to speed up membership of the EU…..but also NATO……
Serbia emerges as a vital state in the Balkans-will it continue on a pro-western EU path or revert to pro-Russian and more adversarial line? Recent elections were won by pro-EU parties…but…. (election poster below reads: Both Kosovo and Russia-and is from the extreme nationalist parties)
1. Defining the Balkans? (A look at the map)
2. Brief history of Balkans
4. Why and how did Yugoslavia break up so violently?
4. A distinctive Balkan style of politics today?
5. Western Views of the Balkans-”Backwards?”
No real agreement on defining the Balkans”between the Adriatic and black seas and below the Danube” or.... Where Orthodox and Muslim Europe meets western Christian Europe....(see map overleaf of religious areas in Europe)
Note: Balkans includes many ‘new’ states, and at least 1 (mostly) unrecognised state (Transdniestria)
A Map of Transdniestria-a European state (Russian enclave/protectorate) not formally recognized!From: ttp://www.democracyarsenal.org/2008/09/war-over-transd.html
A borderland between the Ottoman/Turkish empire and Western powers from Medieval times.
19th century saw a rapid growth of ethnic nationalism-various ethnic groups seeking independence from empires (Ottoman, Austrian, Russian).
‘Modern’ Balkan nation states emerge 19th century, notably Serbia and Greece, but also Bulgaria, and Romania with western/Russian backing.
Some Historical Maps-Balkans 1914, and in 1920.See: http://www.nytimes.com/specials/bosnia/context/yugo1815.GIF.html1914 1920
Ethnic cleansing 1912?Refugees fleeing during the Balkan wars of 1912-13, most likely Muslims (Turks)From: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/4/4a/With_the_conquered_Turk_(1913)_Initial_phase_of_balkan_wars.png
Balkan wars (1912-13) left a legacy of inter-ethnic/national conflict as did WW1 & WW2.
Cold War (1947-1989) mostly froze ethnic tensions, but, sometimes these were played out by Communists (Bulgaria) or ethnic nationalism became the most authentic opposition to Communism (Yugoslavia)
After 1989, a Post-Communist political class
exploited/stoked ethnic tensions as a means of
(Examples here include Romania 1989, but especially Serbia/Yugoslavia 1991)
Milosevic, ex-Yugoslav Communist, “Playing the Nationalist Card”at 600th Anniversary of Battle of Kosovo 1989From: http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2006/03/12/international/milo3.span.jpg
On June 28th, 1989, Milosevic, a senior figure in Communist Yugoslavia of the 1980s, spoke to a large audience to commemorate the 600th Anniversary of the Battle of Kosovo. Although his speech contained statements about respecting other nationalities, clearly, this was a Communist-era leader re-inventing himself as a nationalist. His major theme was that Serbs needed to be united, and had conceded too much in Yugoslavia. More ominously he stated:
“Six centuries later, now, we are being again engaged in battles and are facing battles. They are not armed battles, although such things cannot be excluded yet.”
(Text of his speech can be found at: http://www.swans.com/library/art8/smilos01.html)
The most important political story of the Balkans in recent years has been the Yugoslavian Civil Wars 1991-1996 & 1999An old man sits among the ruins of the City of Vukovar, after it was attacked and destroyed by Serb/Federal Yugoslav army units in force in late summer 1991.From: http://www.everyculture.com/images/ctc_01_img0291.jpg
Yugoslavian wars (1991-1996)-a very complex 3 way conflict between Muslims, Croats and Serbs, mainly in Bosnia
The scale of this war was huge- est. 97,000 fatalities in Bosnia (1991-1995) over 1 million refugees!
But NOT just simply a tribal/ethnic war-more a state collapse/civil war.
For example Muslims enclave at one stage fighting other Muslim troops! Moreover initial Serb-Croatian violence was ‘instigated’ from the top down by Milosevic and related elements in the Serb/Yugoslav Communist party.
“ between Muslims, Croats and Serbs, mainly in BosniaOur overall impression was that the media were used by the authorities there, and really in all parts of Croatia and Bosnia, to – for propaganda, and that part of the aim of many of the media announcements was to frighten their own people into believing the worst stories about the other side or the other two sides, and to cause a polarisation and to believe, in a sense, that unless you separated from and possibly took up arms against the other side, they would come and kill you first. And it seemed to us that the great majority of people, ordinary people, were quite happy to live alongside each other, and had done so for many years. But within each of the main communities, there was a relatively small group of people who were determined to poison people's minds against the other side or the other two sides and to cause -- to cause this polarisation so that the small core group's political aims could be achieved.”
Testimony of former European Community Monitor in Yugoslavia, James Mayhew (ex British Army), Page 6027-28, available at http://www.un.org/icty/transe24Stakic/020717IT.htm
Satellite photo imagery of possible mass graves after Bosnian-Serb paramilitary takeover of Srebrenica 11th July 1995. NATO and UN forces did little to stop the attack which resulted in thousands of Muslim men and boys executed.http://www.gendercide.org/images/pics/srebair.jpg
Western Response 1991-95 Bosnian-Serb paramilitary takeover of (UN, EU) ineffectual and flawed.
NATO role significant really only after 1995. USA’s role under Clinton-very controversial
(See article by Brendan O’Shea, (2005) ‘Kosovo: the Triumph of Ignorance’, Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, Vol.28, No.1, pp.61-65.)
1996: Dayton Peace agreement-backed by US/NATO threats of heavy coercion. Bosnia occupied by NATO troops, and an imposed federal power-sharing structure put in place between Serbs, Muslims and Croats.
Albanian victims, among circa 45, murdered by Serb paramilitary units on January 15th, 1999. This was the event which probably triggered NATO’s air war against Serbia a few months later.Source: http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/olmedia/1810000/images/_1812847_racakmassacre300.jpg
1999 (April): NATO decided to be tough with Milosevic after massacres in Kosovo: 76 day ‘air war’ followed
Summer 1999: NATO occupies Kosovo with an uneasy Russia and a UN mandate.
An ethnic Albania fighter in Macedonia, 2001, as fighting flared.
2000-2003 Macedonia crisis erupts: ethnic Albanians fighting (again)...a spillover from Kosovo?
17th February 2008 Kosovo declares independence-Europe’s newest state.
3. A DISTINCTIVE BALKAN STYLE OF POLITICS TODAY massacres in Kosovo: 76 day ?
Importance of ex-Communists is not unique, but they have had more success in Balkans.
Depth and complexity of ethnic tensions is more intense-e.g. Bosnia has ethnic and religious problems mixed. In other cases ethnic tensions mix with great power interests (Moldova/Transdnestria).
Economic base is lower-much poorer societies.
“Ireland, GDP per capita: $41,000 (2005); Bulgaria estimated at $11,904 (2008).” (see GDP per capita map of Europe over)
Civil society relatively weak-less of a middle class (who often are state employees rather than classic bourgeoise).
Role of expatriate ethnic nationalist communities abroad important
Much of the Balkans is as poor as Latin America, or developing Asia
4. WESTERN VIEWS OF THE BALKANS- developing Asia”BACKWARDS?”
An old photograph of the Batak Massacre victims, Bulgarians massacred by Turkish irregulars April, 1876.Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Massaker_In_Batak_Bulgarien_1876_3.jpg
Orientalism- massacred by Turkish irregulars April, 1876.a mostly elite held frame of mind, a system of representations, or a mode of thought, through which eastern cultures were and areframed, understood. These discourses help ultimately the project of domination/colonization, or at least legitimate such manipulations. These discourses serve to accentuate differences between an imagined Christian/white/rational-modern west and an Islamic/colored /traditional-backward east rather than accept/explore connections and commonalities between east and west or diversity within regions and cultures…..