Released: January 1995
The crisis in the former Yugoslavia has raised questions of universal importance. What are the rights of nations, peoples, and minority communities in an age when national boundaries are swept aside in the name of “ethnic cleansing?” Catherine Samary shows how the refusal to recognize any national identity except “pure” ethnicity has served as a pretext for the butchering of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and poses a threat to modern pluralist national boundaries everywhere. In response, Samary argues: “There must be different ways of being a ‘people.’ Forming a separate country for one single group is not (and must not be) the only choice.” Drawing from past experiences in the region, Samary outlines compelling and challenging alternatives to the surrender of pluralism and democracy to ultranationalist military might.
Samary’s historical analysis is a welcome relief from the confused set of impressions one can collect from most other sources. Her insights provide a useful counter to the commonplace assumptions about what lies behind nationalist violence . . . more importantly, they raise alarming doubts about the motives and methods of the western powers.
An excellent outline, grounded in long history, of the various claims to linguistic and ethnic nationhood or statehood. A picture emerges of the background to the current struggles, the ‘wars within wars,’ far more complex than a reductionist, not to say shallow, journalism now portrays.
Raises the real issues at stake . . . Samary provides a fine, thoughtful, and impassioned work, an excellent introduction to the actual issues involved.
Background on Yugoslavia
Introduction. The Yugoslav Crisis: An Overview
- Indeterminate Nationalities
- Titoism’s Balance Sheet
- Wars Within the War
- The Bosnian Symbol
- The “International Community” on Trial