This disintegration of Yugoslavia and the carnage in Bosnia that followed helped focus public and scholarly attention on a sensitive but hitherto neglected area of the world: the Balkan peninsula. A plethora of academic as well as more narrative oriented works appeared seeking to fill a void and to shed light on the causes and effects of the crises in the area as well as implications for peace in the post-Cold War world. While some of these publications told a shallow and often distorted story, others made a concerted effort and at times succeeded in presenting a more systematic and well grounded analysis. Despite good intentions, however, no publication manages to present a comprehensive, unbiased, and up to date account and analysis behind the Balkan quagmire, of the role of different participants and of their grievances, as well as the security implications of the crisis for the Balkan peninsula and the world.
This collection of original essays specifically prepared for this volume seeks to fill the void. The actors and subjects presented are with no exception complex, rapidly changing, and in some instances still unfolding. The book is structured in a series of concentric circles. It begins with the eye of the storm, Yugoslavia and its successors, extends to neighboring Balkan states, and then reaches out to Russia, the United States, and important European players. The outer circle analyzes the role of major intergovernmental organizations, such as NATO and the United Nations. The introductory essay surveys the nature of ethnonationalism and its relevance to security in the Balkans.
The amount of effort and the sheer logistics behind a multiauthored volume dealing with a complex, changing, and inherently difficult subject as the Balkans cannot be overstated. We would like to express our gratitude and appreciation to each of the contributors for their sincerity, energy, and devotion. The coeditors thank one another for the constructive collaboration, patience, and persistence displayed throughout the project. Numerous individuals also assisted in some way. We are indebted to our academic administrators who did what they could to help bring this project to completion. We would like to thank Norman Provizer, chair of the political science department at the Metropolitan State College of Denver; Roy Christman, instructor of political science at San Jose