Ethnonationalism, Security, and Conflict in the Balkans
Constantine P. Danopoulosand Kostas G. Messas
The end of the Cold War and the concomitant wave of democratization brought to the surface a plethora of dormant economic, social, and political problems in the former Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, and the Balkan peninsula. With the possible exception of the former USSR, no area was affected more profoundly by these developments than the Balkans (Turkish for wooded mountains). The violent breakup of Yugoslavia and the bloody civil war in Bosnia stand as visible reminders that the peninsula lost little of its penchant for violence. Although the Yugoslav situation was and remains the eye of the storm, Yugoslavia was not alone. The same changes, and more importantly the fallout from Yugoslavia's dismemberment, directly or implicitly, affected relations between all the states in the Balkan region and those in the periphery. Concern that the multifaceted conflict in the peninsula might spread, inevitably drew in the United States, Russia, Germany and other members of the European Union (EU), as well as NATO and the United Nations (UN).
Dividing the Yugoslav federation, establishing national borders, dealing with refugees, and settling a host of other war related matters topped, and continue to top, the agenda of Yugoslav successor states. While some of these entities took to the battlefield to deal with their differences, other hot issues emerged involving nearly all the states in the area. Tensions in Albanian-Greek relations over minority issues, Greece's refusal to recognize the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) under the name "Macedonia," Hungary's concern over the fate of the Hungarian minority in rump Yugoslavia, Slovakia, and Romania, and the plight of ethnic Albanians in Kosovo and