Troubles in the Balkans: The View from Hungary
Laszlo K. Urban
Hungary's relations with rump Yugoslavia ( Serbia and Montenegro) hinge on: the condition and prospects of the Hungarian ethnic minority in Serbia; Hungarian-Yugoslav trade, half of which is with Serbia proper; the changing fortunes of the political leaderships in the two capitals, Budapest and Belgrade; and, marginally, the potential ramifications of the civil wars throughout Yugoslavia. This contribution will discuss the sources of conflict in the Balkans, will focus on interactions between Budapest and Belgrade and will reflect on solutions and prospects for peace as viewed from Hungarian perspective.
Many observers regard the current Balkan carnage as either an intractable, internecine quagmire endemic to the region or as the outgrowth of some sort of post-communist syndrome. The protracted conflicts in the former Yugoslav republics of Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina and in the abolished "autonomous republics" of Vojvodina and Kosovo are often interpreted as being about religion or ethnicity on account of the claims and counterclaims advanced along such lines, that have indeed palpably helped turn the wars of secession into festering crises of identity politics. 1 The chief culprit for the prevalence of a policy attitude that offers the unpalatable choice between assimilation and