The ideology of transparency and “rule of law” is an obstacle blocking any constructive path to constructive, open, and honest politics.
Along with substantive questions, both Serbia and Kosova continue to grapple with the spoiler problem which underscores – as the unfortunate examples of Ireland’s Michael Collins and Israel’s Yitzhak Rabin demonstrate – the dangers notables face if they prove willing to accept something less than total victory.
The chance of a meaningful outcome to the next round of political negotiations depends on Serbian and Kosovar protagonists taking responsibility for negotiations away from US, EU and Russian overseers.
In neither Bosnia nor Iraq did the Americans anticipate that fragmentation and mutual communal suspicion would trump the power and political engineering of soldiers, diplomats, and the multitude of Western NGOs.
With Serbia's new president, Tomislav Nikolic, taking advantage of the accelerating debasement of the word “genocide”, the US and EU should make it clear that Belgrade’s treatment of Srebrenica is a red line.
Progress toward more effective management of regional disputes will be possible only if leaders emerge inside the region capable and willing to channel their own and their followers’ emotions toward negotiations everyone accepts from the outset will lead to painful sacrifices on everyone’s part.
Josip Glaurdic’s 'The Hour of Europe: Western Powers and the Breakup of Yugoslavia' makes an extremely important contribution to the understanding not only of the period he covers, but also of the more general problem of how the United States and European Union behave toward the rest of the world.
As a signifier, Bosnjak - which is gaining traction as a national identity in Sandjak (in both Serbia and Montenegro), and among Balkan Muslims in Western Europe - is coming to connote a political identity associated with access to state power, “European” credentials and Islamic legitimacy.
The struggle to control the term “genocide” has become a contested conceptual space, turning cautionary lessons in how bad we can be into disputes over just how bad things really were.
Self-congratulatory remarks by the International Civilian Representative for Kosovo juxtaposes oddly with demonstrations on both the Serbian and Kosovar Albanian sides that underscore that the situation... Read More
The term “The West” obscures periodic and sharp changes in the myths and content of Western demands on Balkan, Middle Eastern, and other actors.
Despite Europe’s general loss of interest in further expansion, Serbia's state of aporia keeps it riveted to the European Union; leaving the country without a road, much less a roadmap.
Faced with outstanding conflicts over sovereignty in the Western Balkans, the EU's most efficacious strategy depends upon acknowledging and leveraging its own considerable limitations as an international actor.
Reeling European governments and the Brussels bureaucracy will become even less patient than before in dealing with a region where their serial failures to enforce their myth of civic identity and multi-ethnic integration have undermined the narrative of Europe as a united, just, effective and relevant international actor.
Many Bosniak political and media opinion makers are discovering that their best option involves using a traditional and, in the context of current borders, transnational ethnic movement to improve their leverage with their neighbours and the EU.
The behavior of all sides in the current customs dispute demonstrates that — as far as the locals are concerned — the question of who has sovereignty is an indelibly zero-sum dispute; one that the respective local elites must be left to settle on their own.
Any long-term improvement in activities currently grouped under the slogan “governance” must include patronage networks as necessary, legitimate actors; otherwise corruption will not diminish, much less go away.