As the drama in the Balkans continues to unfold, many questions remain unanswered: What went wrong? How could Tito's relatively stable state degenerate into a nightmare of hatred and sorrow? How will it all end? Mihailo Crnobrnja, a senior official of the former Yugoslav government, provides the first insider's account of the Yugoslav drama. He describes the complexities inherent in the patchwork collection of nationalities held together by the sheer force of Tito's will as he played his balancing game between the Soviet bloc and the West. If any drive stronger than the force of local nationalisms existed in Yugoslavia, it was the drive to preserve independence. Thus the erosion of Soviet power in Eastern Europe removed the principal strut to Yugoslav stability. Ironically, Tito's authoritarianism - which helped to keep the federation together and guide it past threats from the East and manipulations from the West - served also to keep the lid on any democratic participation in politics, stifling the development of stabilizing political institutions.
When Tito died and the dangers subsided, the only political memories that Yugoslavs were able to draw on were the memories of their various nationalisms. The ensuing disaster is there for all to see. In this work, Crnobrnja draws together the threads of the Yugoslav drama and analyses possible future scenarios in a broader Balkan and European context.
Part 1 The stage: a country of diversity; origins of the idea and the state; inter-war instability; the Tito years. Part 2 The actors: Tito's successors; the new wave of Serbian nationalism; Slovenia and Croatia - the drive to independence; the supporting cast. Part 3 The plot: changes in Europe; the crisis; the war in Slovenia and Croatia; the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina; the European Community steps in; a call for blue helmets. Part 4 The final curtain: drawing the threads together; the Balkan endgame; is there a solution?