Preventing Future Yugoslavias: The Views of CSCE/OSCE Negotiators, 1993 and 1997

Book Chapter
Dennis Sandole
Dennis Sandole
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Preventing Future Yugoslavias: The Views of CSCE/OSCE Negotiators, 1993 and 1997
Language: English, Hilef
Volume: Vol II
URL:
This is the fourth published report on an ongoing research project to monitor developments in post-Cold War Europe, involving efforts to solicit and analyse the views of (primarily) heads of delegation to the most inclusive trans-Atlantic/pan-European peace and security system comprising all the former enemies of the Cold War and neutral and non-aligned: the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), formerly the Conference on Security and Cupertino in Europe (CSCE), based in Vienna, Austria. The project began with my tenure as a William C. Foster Fellow as a Visiting Scholar with the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (ACDA) during 1989-1990 when, among other things, I served on the U.S. delegation to the Negotiations on Confidence- and Security-Building Measures (CSBMs) which occurred within the context of the (then) CSCE in Vienna. This experience revealed to me the potential of the CSCE for shaping the peace and security environment of post-Cold War Europe, transforming it from a bipolar confrontational system into a system of common security. In effect, I discovered in Vienna an opportunity to apply conflict/conflict resolution theory to practice, as part of my overarching goal to participate in the development and implementation of peace and security systems for post-Cold War Europe. This opportunity was realised to some extent by a NATO Research Fellowship which enabled me to return to Vienna in 1993 to conduct interviews of heads of delegation to the CSCE (see Sandole, 1994, 1995a) and subsequently, a Fulbright OSCE Regional Research Scholarship which brought me back to Vienna in 1997 to conduct a follow-up study with heads of delegation to the ("reframed") OSCE (see Sandole, 2000). More recently, an OSCE "Researcher in Residence" award brought me back to Vienna for a third round of interviews immediately following the conclusion of the NATO air war against Serbia over the Kosovo issue, in June 1999.

 

The current conference brought together participant scholars from Europe and the U.S. discussing the failures of democratization of the Balkans after 10 years of disastrous conduct. The text highlights the so-called democratic transition in the Yugoslav successor states starting in the most unusual way – by misuse of democratic rhetoric and principles for most retrograde purposes. ‘Democracy helped the hard-liners, and worse, nationalists from all over former Yugoslavia to get in power in a legal way and even by mass popular support in 1990. The deep-rooted and long-lasting Yugoslav crisis culminated into an inevitable loss of legitimacy of the communist elites (both federal and republican ones). The vacuum was de facto fulfilled by nationalist ideology and practice although nationalist elites took advantage of the newly declared democratic postulates (such as multi-party system, free elections, etc.).

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