Paving the Road to Genocide
The period preceding Yugoslavia's disintegration is significant in that it served as the preparatory phase to the slide into genocide. It prepared the ideology, the machinery, and what Thompson and Quets call the "prevailing moral ambiance" that were to make ethnic cleansing possible. Although long-term factors -- such as religion, history, or culture -- may have provided the backdrop for the resurgence of Serbian nationalism in the 1980s, they would not have been enough to generate open warfare, much less the genocide that was to follow.
For genocide, the development of an ideology is especially significant insofar as a guide and justification are needed. As sociologist Leo Kuper stresses, "At least when operating collectively, they [perpetrators of genocide] need an ideology to legitimate their behavior, for without it they would have to see themselves and one another as what they really are -- common thieves and murderers."1 In the present case, a redefinition and legitimation of national goals was required, within a convincing intellectual framework, which could motivate strata of the population beyond the small number of psychopaths and opportunists found in most societies. Also required was the