If the leaders of Serbia and Croatia can get away with tearing apart Bosnia-Herzegovina, a sovereign member of the United Nations, what is to stop military elites in other former Soviet and East European states from proposing similar solutions to their own national grievances and aspirations? And who is to say it would stop there? The world may well be uneasy, as Bogdan Denitch makes clear in this study of the causes and possible ramifications of the death of Yugoslavia. He aims to provide a comprehensive historical analysis of Yugoslavia's demise, one which clearly identifies events and trends that urgently demand the world's attention. The role of timing in the sequence of events; the consequences of an unworkable constitutional situation; the responsibility of the West; and, above all, the self-transformation of Communist regimes that presaged undemocratic outcomes. Each is duly considered as Denitch gives a detailed description of Yugoslavia's descent into inter-ethnic wars. His discussion of the possible fate of post-Communist states leads to an account of the sources and dangers of nationalistic and ethnic extremism on what threatens to become a global scale.
In this analysis, nationalism and populism can be seen as revolts against a new world system where abstract multinational financial and political institutions belie citizens' attempts at democratic participation.
Introduction - lessons for a possible post-Communist future; essential background on Yugoslavia; what happens when the ethnos becomes the demos; troubled transitions - post-Communist societies; nationalism as the nemesis of democratic alternatives; without both universalism and modernity, no democracy; nationalism, globalism and democracy; a personal summary.