NATIONALISM AND TERRITORIAL CLAIMS OF THE YUGOSLAVS CHALLENGE TO RE-MAP THE BALKANS IN THE 21ST CENTURY. CASE-STUDY

Vladislav B. Sotirovic

Abstract


The aim of this study is to make research on the main streams of historical development of national ideologies and claims of the peoples from the territory of ex-Yugoslavia from the time of national revivals up to the present day. The main research strategy is analyzing historical sources from the “first-hand” category, documentary material from different national archives, ideological works and newspapers of different ethnopolitical background. It is also applied the methods of comparison of different domestic and international scientific research results on the study-topic of our inverstigation. The results of research show that for the Yugoslav and Balkan nations territorial and national rights were always of much greater importance than the human or civic rights. This historical fact became a milestone for development of national ideologies among the Yugoslavs, which put on pedestal of “national policy” the aim to transform ethnographical borders into the national-state borders. The period of bloody dissolution of the SFR of Yugoslavia followed by the inter-ethnopolitical conflicts in Kosovo and the FYR of Macedonia (1991–2001) is typical example of such “national policy” overwhelmingly rooted in the idea of “inevitability” of ethnic cleansing, persecution, assimilation and the inter-ethnic exchange of the peoples. The study research has to be further continued by inverstigation of the prime historical sources, i.e. archival material, in several Balkan and international archives and libraries (for instance, in Albania and Vatican). Historical retrospective of development of the national ideologies and territorial claims is necessary for the reason to understand practical politics of the Yugoslavs after the end of the Cold War when the Balkans once again became the “powder-keg” of Europe in order to predict a future development of the local nationalism and regional political affairs for the matter of both regional and Europe’s security. The case-study is based on 20 years of multi-sided comprehensive research and non-partisan scientific investigation.


Keywords


Nationalism, security, Yugoslavs, Balkans, ethnopolitical conflicts.

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