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Slobodan Milosevic and the Violent Transformation
Slobodan Milosevic and the Violent Transformation

Author(s): Monica Oproiu
Subject(s): Politics / Political Sciences
Published by: Editura Universitatii din Oradea
Keywords: Yugoslavia; ethnic conflict; ethnic extremism; ethnic cleansing; war; communism; charismatic leadership; Slobodan Milosevic; nationalism; borders.

Summary/Abstract: The dissolution of former Yugoslavia was seen “not just as a misfortune for the Balkans, but as a disaster for Europe as a whole” because it triggered a fierce bloodshed just as the old continent was trying to adapt to the new realities of post-Cold War politics. The label of “ethnic wars” was soon attached to the violence occurring in several former entities of Yugoslavia, raising speculations about the reigniting of ancestral hatreds and the powerful return of nationalism in Europe. Slobodan Milosevic’s firm grip of power in Serbia coincided with the transformation of borders in the former Yugoslavia by means of war and this paper is aimed at assessing his role in the process and the quality of his leadership. From the 1987 speech in Kosovo which gave him the aura of a charismatic leader to the subsequent label of “the Beast of the Balkans”, Milosevic led the Serbs on a path of violence and ethnic strife, capitalizing on their uncertainties and fears in order to gain and maintain power. By selectively drawing on history in order to portray conflict within Yugoslavia as inevitable and by breaking the taboo of ethnic nationalism, Milosevic attempted to transform borders as to accommodate a “Greater Serbia”, a political agenda which attested a toxic component of his leadership and opened Pandora’s box for the future sufferings of the peoples in the region.

  • Issue Year: 2011
  • Issue No: 11
  • Page Range: 142-157
  • Page Count: 15