Crises in the Balkans: Views from the Participants

By Constantine P. Danopoulos; Kostas G. Messas | Go to book overview

6 Montenegro: Beyond the Myth

Andrei Simic

Montengero's stance in the current Balkan conflict has been shaped largely by the ambivalence of its relationship to its more powerful ally, Serbia, an ambivalence dating from the founding of Yugoslavia. After more than seventy years, this remains the single most divisive issue in Montenegrin politics. Moreover, this controversy regarding ethnic identity and political allegiance has been rekindled by the hardships engendered by the current civil war.

Largely unknown to the outside world, Montenegro, does not fit the paradigms characterizing the other Balkan Slavs. Its identity, like Montenegro's political loyalties, remains shifting and unresolved. It is the product of a unique history that has contributed to the formation of a national psyche where past and present merge in an often boastful and self congratulatory melange of fact and mythology. Centuries of dogged resistance to Ottoman domination have given birth to a culture permeated by a heroic ethos constructed from the sometimes fictionalized, and frequently embellished, accounts of a prolonged struggle for autonomy, a struggle immortalized in the epic poetry with which every Montenegrin is familiar. On a more intimate level, each clan has passed down from father to son tales of the daring exploits of long dead, but not forgotten, ancestors. 1 Nor has this idealization been confined simply to prideful natives. Nineteenth-century Europe was much taken by the image of gallant mountaineers fiercely resisting Turkish oppression. Among those captivated by this romantic picture was Lord Alfred Tennyson. He was inspired to pen his sonnet Montenegro. 2 Czech composer, Franz Lehar, is said to have taken Montenegro as the setting for The Merry Widow. 3 However, what such stereotypes largely ignored was the reality of abject poverty, brutality,

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Crises in the Balkans: Views from the Participants
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Foreword vii
  • Preface and Acknowledgments ix
  • 1: Ethnonationalism, Security, and Conflict in the Balkans 1
  • Notes 17
  • 2: Of Shatter Belts and Powder Kegs: A Brief Survey of Yugoslav History 19
  • Notes 41
  • 3: Defeating "Greater Serbia," Building Greater Milosevic 47
  • Notes 70
  • 4: Franjo Tudjman's Croatia and the Balkans 75
  • Notes 89
  • 5: Bosnian Muslim Views of National Security 93
  • Notes 110
  • 6: Montenegro: Beyond the Myth 113
  • Notes 131
  • 7: The Balkan Crisis and the Republic of Macedonia 135
  • Notes 150
  • 8: Greece's Policies in the Post-Cold War Balkans 153
  • Conclusions 165
  • 9: Albanian Nationalism and Prospects for Greater Albania 169
  • Notes 190
  • 10: Bulgaria and the Balkans 195
  • Notes 208
  • 11: Turkey and the Balkans: Searching for Stability1 211
  • Conclusion 220
  • Notes 221
  • 12: Romania and the Balkan Imbroglio 225
  • Notes 237
  • 13: Troubles in the Balkans: The View from Hungary 241
  • Notes 255
  • 14: Moscow and the Yugoslav Secession Crisis 257
  • Notes 271
  • 15: US Policy in the Balkans: From Containment to Strategic Reengagement 275
  • Notes 292
  • 16: France, Germany, and the Yugoslavian Wars 297
  • Notes 309
  • 17: Failure in Former Yugoslavia: Hard Lessons for the European Union 311
  • Notes 324
  • 18: NATO and the Bosnian Quagmire: Reluctant Peacemaker 331
  • Notes 347
  • 19: The United Nations and the Conflict in Former Yugoslavia 351
  • Conclusion 367
  • Notes 368
  • About the Editors and Contributors 371
  • Index 381
  • About the Book 390
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