From Ethnic Conflict to Stillborn Reform: The Former Soviet Union and Yugoslavia

From Ethnic Conflict to Stillborn Reform: The Former Soviet Union and Yugoslavia

From Ethnic Conflict to Stillborn Reform: The Former Soviet Union and Yugoslavia

From Ethnic Conflict to Stillborn Reform: The Former Soviet Union and Yugoslavia


From Ethnic Conflict to Stillborn Reform is the first complete treatment of the major post-communist conflicts in both the former Yugoslavia- Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, and Serbia-and the former Soviet Union-Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, and Tajikistan. It is also the first work that focuses not on causes but rather on consequences for democratization and market reform, the two most widely studied political outcomes in the developing world.

Building on existing work emphasizing the effects of economic development and political culture, the book adds a new, comprehensive treatment of how war affects political and economic reform.

Author Shale Horowitz employs both statistical evidence and historical case studies of the eight new nations to determine that ethnic conflict entangles, distracts, and destabilizes reformist democratic governments, while making it easier for authoritarian leaders to seize and consolidate power. As expected, economic backwardness worsens these tendencies, but Horowitz finds that powerful reform-minded nationalist ideologies can function as antidotes.

The comprehensiveness of the treatment, use of both qualitative and quantitative analysis, and focus on standard concepts from comparative politics make this book an excellent tool for classroom use, as well as a ground-breaking analysis for scholars.


Violent ethnic conflict has been one of the more unexpected and terrible hallmarks of the post–Cold War period. Nowhere has such conflict been more common than in the postcommunist world itself, in the successor states of the former Soviet Union and the former Yugoslavia. the successive Yugoslav conflicts—in Croatia, BosniaHerzegovina, and Serbia’s Kosovo region—received the most international publicity and diplomatic attention. However, other tragic ethnic conflicts occurred in the former Soviet republics of the Caucasus region—in Georgia, and between Armenia and Azerbaijan—and in the former Soviet republics of Moldova and Tajikistan.

The reforms of Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and the associated collapse of the Soviet Union’s Eastern European satellite regimes removed the external threat that had held the Yugoslav state together after the death of Josip Broz Tito, the founder of the post–World War II communist regime. What remained was a decentralized state, in which the forces favoring secession and centralization were deadlocked. the Yugoslav republics of Slovenia and Croatia, after failing to gain independence through the Yugoslav political process, declared their independence unilaterally in June, 1991. Serbian leader Slobodan Milošević responded with a military effort to build an enlarged Serbia, projected to include the large Serb minorities living in parts of Croatia and BosniaHerzegovina. Following a token show of force against Slovenia, Milošević . . .

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