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Ethnic and Regional Conflicts in Yugoslavia and Transcaucasia

A Political Economy of Contemporary Ethnonational Mobilization

by: Ivan Ivekovic
published by: A. Longo Editore
pp: 228
ISBN: 88-8063-275-2
price: € 15.49

Book's frontpage

The author adopts a multi-disciplinary approach in an attempt to determine why recent ethnic conflicts and wars in the Yugoslav and Transcaucasian "laboratories" have followed similar patterns. On the basis of the assumption that similar causes produce similar effects, he argues that the cause of contemporary ethno-national conflict is not to a revival of "ancient hatreds" but rather the type of distorted modernization promoted by communist regimes, which finally led to a developmental crisis and breakdown of the system.
The unresolved "Peasant Question", one-dimensional urbanization, distorted class stratification, and intensified competition for the redistribution of scarce resources provoked neo-patriarchal convulsions and a general identity crisis. The crisis was particularly acute in ethnically mixed regions that, during the last decades of communist rule, underwent rapid but uneven economic and social change.
In these regions, patriarchal residues rooted in the "moral economy" of the past proved to be especially especially enduring. The situation was used by nationalist ideologues and self-styled leaders, most of them drawn from the old communist nomenklatura, to manipulate their frustrated ethnic siblings and to promote mutually exclusive political projects of segregated development. This led to ethnic polarization and homogenization, conflicts, ethnic cleansing and wars, during which both the Yugoslav and Soviet federations fragmented along their internal ethnic fault-lines.
The outcome was the creation of exclusionist ethnocracies that, similar to the now defunct South African "homelands", are an anomaly in the era of economic globalization. The author argues that the discriminatory pseudo-democratic regimes that have been introduced in the two "laboratories" are transitional. Eventually they will have to depart from economic nationalism and from the idea of segregated development on which they have been constructed. They will also have to democratize, by offering equal opportunity to all of their citizens regardless of ethnicity or creed. If not, they will be internationally marginalized and condemned to internal economic and social decay.


Table of Contents


First Chapter
The Oblong of instability and the regional laboratoires of Yugoslavia and Transcaucasia

Second Chapter
Communist Modernization,  Developmental Crisis and Systemic Blockade

Third Chapter

Setting   the   Stage  for   Confrontation:   Distorted   Class Stratification. Social Drama and Identity Crisis

Fourth Chapter
From Ethnonational Mobilization to Ethnic States

Fifth Chapter
Transition within the Transition




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