The involvement of the international community in the area of former Yugoslavia has sought to advance the clear Western objectives of the consolidation of democracy, transformation to a market economy, and the protection of human and minority rights. It has also to sought to promote regional peace and security. The lack of preparation of the international community for the violent disintegration of Yugoslavia initially led to confusion in its policies. Passing through a period of gradual and rather unsuccessful involvement, the international community has become fully engaged in the former Yugoslavia. Given the conflicts in Croatia and Bosnia-Hercegovina, as well as the Kosovo crisis in 1999, external actors have attributed priority to peace building over the promotion of democratic goals. In this perspective, the process of democratic transition will be embarked upon in the region following the establishment of peace.
This chapter defines the 'international community' as comprising all external actors engaged in seeking to resolve the Yugoslav crisis, including the joint activities of the European Union (EU), USA, and Russia. These parts of the international community, despite differing positions and interests, have succeeded most in advancing these aims. If under the term of 'democratic changes', one includes everything that has led the nations of the former Yugoslavia towards the creation of independent states, the pursuit of peace, and closer ties to wider Europe, then external involvement must be viewed at different levels. At these different levels, the involvement of the international community has had different consequences according to the features of each new state.
The first part of this chapter analyses the role of international factors in the disintegration of Yugoslavia. The second part examines