The Second Yugoslavia created in 1943, under the name of Democratic Federation of Yugoslavia, was a federal state consisting of six republics -Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia- and two autonomous provinces - Kosovo and Vojvodina. It became the Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia in 1946 and then the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1963. This federation broke up in the early 1990s when Slovenia and Croatia declared their independence on June 25, 1991, followed by Macedonia in October and Bosnia Herzegovina in November. What explains this disintegration? It is impossible to reduce "the complexity of socialist Yugoslav disintegration to some supposed pre-eminent factor. On the contrary, economics choices, institutional structures, religious cultures, elite dynamics, and deficiencies in system legitimacy all played a role in pushing the country toward violent break-up". Indeed, "the disintegration of Yugoslavia had many causes, not a single one". Yugoslavia was a mosaic of ethnic groups, whose unity was undermined by Tito's death, economic crisis, ethnic tensions, changing international context and the rise of nationalism in the 1980s.
[...] Jovic doubts about the consequences of the economic crisis on disintegration and shows that the Yugoslav disintegration happened at the moment when the economic reforms of Ante Markovic's government –arrived in power in January 1989- were showing their first positive results (elimination of inflation, sharp increase in personal income of Yugoslav citizens . He thinks economic factors are important per se for the disintegration of Yugoslavia but provided for political leaders who used them to argue that their ethnic or/and political group was disadvantaged”. [...]
[...] of the Yugoslav nations played a major role in the failure to constitute a Yugoslav culture, nation and state. “Thus cultural diversities (primarily religious and linguistic differences) made nations and promoted their desire to live separately from others in their own states. Cultural, religious, economic, linguistic and historical differences between the Yugoslav nations were simply too large to allow the creation of a Yugoslav nation, which permanently destabilized the Yugoslav state. Fragmentation of the country was hence inevitable and somehow natural”. A. [...]
[...] SP Ramet, Balkan Babel: the disintegration of Yugoslavia from the death of Tito to the fall of Milosevic D. Jović, Disintegration of Yugoslavia: A critical review of Explanatory Approaches” J. Udovicki, J. Ridgeway, Burn this house: The making and unmaking of Yugoslavia. D. Jović, Disintegration of Yugoslavia: A critical review of Explanatory Approaches” J. Udovicki, J. Ridgeway, Burn this house: The making and unmaking of Yugoslavia. Ibid V. Bunce, Subversive Institutions: The design and deconstruction of socialism and the state D. [...]
[...] Moreover, the system was paralysed because of the new rotating system. Indeed each republic or autonomous province had a veto right so “federal government was crippled and gridlocked whenever the leadership of any one of the republic or province judged its interests to be threatened.” Moreover, to get elected, representatives needed to have support in their own republic but not in the whole federation, which them to defend their national interest. Tito left a federal system that could not work without a strong central authority. [...]
[...] The changing international context made the disintegration of Yugoslavia possible in the late 1980s whereas it was not before. Indeed, during the Cold war, the United States was against the disintegration of Yugoslavia because the West, Yugoslavia's brand of market-communism was an example to the rest of the Soviet Bloc to leave the constraints of the Soviet Union and open up to Western influence.” Without international support, no separatist development strategy was possible for Slovenia and Croatia. But 1989, Yugoslavia's international position changed dramatically with the end of the Cold War. [...]
Online readingwith our online reader
Content validatedby our reading committee