Crises in the Balkans: Views from the Participants

By Constantine P. Danopoulos; Kostas G. Messas | Go to book overview
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integration of Bosnian government and HZ-HB institutions and of the ABH and the HVO, have been fully implemented. 39


A Parting Word

The degree to which Croatia develops in the direction of capitalist democracy hinges, in large part, on events in Bosnia and Herzegovina. While the Dayton Accords of December 1995 have put at least a temporary halt to the Bosnian war, the long-term future of Bosnia-Herzegovina remains a wholly open question. A continuation of Bosnian instability and Croatian entanglement in Bosnian affairs offers Tudjman a surrogate for the now lapsed issue of Croatia's occupied territories as a homogenizing factor in Croat politics. At the same time, he will be able to use Western pressure (to cooperate with the Bosnian government, to hand over indicted war criminals, and to democratize, among other issues) as further proof of the West's Croatophobia. However, a substantial period of Bosnian calm, coupled with the visible reconstruction of that country, will tend to erode these arguments for maintaining his own and the HDZ's monopoly over the political spectrum, arguments that depend on perceived threats to the survival and independence of the Croatian state. The end of the Bosnian war may well presage the end, at least in its present form, of Tudjman's personal mastery of Croatian politics.


Notes
1.
"Hrvatska povijest je moja povijest," in Milovan Baletic, ed., Ljudi iz 1971: Prekinuta sutnja ( Zagreb: Biblioteka Vrijeme, 1990), pp-190-91. The text is an interview conducted late in 1989.
2.
Ibid., p. 196.
3.
Ibid., p. 197.
4.
The best account of the Yugoslav crisis to date is Laura Silber and Allan Little , Yugoslavia: Death of a Nation ( New York: TV Books, 1996), see also Ivo Banac , "The Fearful Asymmetry of War: The Causes and Consequences of Yugoslavia's Demise," Daedalus 121:2 (Spring 1992), pp.141-74; and "Post- Communism as Post-Yugoslavism: The Yugoslav Non-Revolutions of 1989-1990," in Banac, ed., Eastern Europe in Revolution ( Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1992), pp. 168-87; and Branka Magas, The Destruction of Yugoslavia: Tracking the Break-up 1980-92 ( London: Verso, 1993).
5.
Officers in the political service -- political commissars -- were responsible

-89-

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