Is Komšić a better Lagumdžija?
The impact of the recent election could become more “civic” than it might appear, if politicians seeking to represent that term examine their own motives,... Read More
Inertia in Bosnia
The ideology of transparency and “rule of law” is an obstacle blocking any constructive path to constructive, open, and honest politics.
Where things stand
As it becomes clear that the arrangement between Belgrade and Pristina is no more decisive than was Dayton or so many other internationally supervised agreements,... Read More
A “Republika Srpska” in Kosova?
The only way Kosova can hope to manage successfully the creation of a Serb counter-government is if Washington can accomplish what it has failed to so far... Read More
The Lebanonization of Syria means the latter could face a long period of instability and rivalry among sectarian, tribal, and other competitors for power, resources,... Read More
Circling the wagons north of the Ibar
It should not be assumed that the developing arrangement between Pristina and Belgrade will put an end to North Ibar as a separate entity, any... Read More
Serbia’s shaky platform
Serbian president Nikolic’s platform on Kosovo has more to do with domestic politics – particularly attempts to undermine prime minister Dacic’s effort to strike a... Read More
Clinton-Ashton ukazes – now what?
Whatever happens, regarding the Balkans as a whole, international notables once again have demonstrated they have no real strategy regarding how to grapple with the... Read More
The granting of free speech by a Burmese government attempting to reform – and inexperienced in the attendant complications of doing so – has provoked... Read More
Dealing with the Michael Collins problem
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.
Kosova/Kosovo – is there a deal here?
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.
Federation under US influence in Iraq and Bosnia-Herzegovina
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.
Salience and emotion
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.
The West, Milosevic and the collapse of Yugoslavia
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.
Millet, nation, community
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
Memories, large and small
The term “The West” obscures periodic and sharp changes in the myths and content of Western demands on Balkan, Middle Eastern, and other actors.
Quo vadis, Serbia?
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.
Greece – Balkan dissonance and the creation myth of “Europe”
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.
The importance of being Bosniak
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.
The trouble with transparency
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.