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From War to Peace in the Balkans, the Middle East and Ukraine

  • Book
  • Open Access
  • © 2019

You have full access to this open access Book


  • Traces the impact of United States and European military and diplomatic interventions on Balkans politics, economics and security
  • Examines the successes and failures of post-war European and American contributions to securing peace and building viable states
  • Applies the lessons learned to ongoing conflicts in the Middle East and Ukraine

Part of the book series: Palgrave Critical Studies in Post-Conflict Recovery (PCSPCR)

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Table of contents (7 chapters)


About this book

This open access book focuses on the origins, consequences and aftermath of the 1995 and 1999 Western military interventions that led to the end of the most recent Balkan wars. Though challenging problems remain in Bosnia, Macedonia, Kosovo, and Serbia, the conflict prevention and state-building efforts thereafter were partly successful as countries of the region are on separate tracks towards European Union membership. This study highlights lessons that can be applied to the Middle East and Ukraine, where similar conflicts are likewise challenging sovereignty and territorial integrity. It is an accessible treatment of what makes war and how to make peace ideal for all readers interested in how violent international conflicts can be managed, informed by the experience of a practitioner.


“Serwer provides readers with an informative and convincing analysis of the Balkans experience, fulfilling his intention to present a concise history of the conflict and post-conflict periods in Bosnia, Kosovo and Macedonia. He builds on this analysis and makes clear recommendations on what can be done in the Middle East and Ukraine. The book will appeal to both international relations students and foreign policy professionals.” (Zerrin Torun, Europe-Asia Studies, Vol. 71 (10), 2019) “Dan Serwer was there at the start of international interventions in the Balkans.  He is a clear-eyed observer of what has worked and what has not in a region still at peace but still troubled.  Dan has earned his observations from decades in the field, and this book is well worth reading.” (Madeleine K. Albright, Former US Secretary of State, USA)

“Daniel Serwer, who has worked in and on the Balkans for decades, has produced a fine book on the collapse of the region after Tito. Focused heavily on Bosnia and Kosovo, he catalogues the successes and failures in US and European policy in the region. Hard-hitting, his heroes have their blemishes showing; his scoundrels are far from being caricatured. For aficionados and those seeking an excellent narrative with informed comment this is an important read.” (Thomas R. Pickering, Former US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs and Ambassador to the UN and Russia, USA)

“This is a long overdue study and I can thinkof no-one better to write it than Dan Serwer. He was actively involved in the Balkan troubles of recent years as a policy maker and shaper of events, right from the start, gaining a widespread reputation for his judgement and wisdom. This is a cool, rational and expert lesson of what we should learn from this period and how it is relevant to the challenges we face today.” (Lord Paddy Ashdown, Former High Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina (2002-2006), UK) 

“After a quarter of a century of engagement by the international community in the Western Balkans, a region marred by crisis and acute conflict in the wake of the dissolution of Yugoslavia, much progress has been made, but more attention and engagement are still required.  Daniel Serwer, a prominent scholar and a key factor in efforts to promote peace in the region, helps us to understand the historical background, complexities of the regional environment and impact of political initiatives. While each conflicthas its own dynamics, many lessons that are painfully learned are too quickly forgotten. This book reminds us of the successes and failures of international engagement in the former Yugoslavia. We should keep these in mind when addressing outstanding issues in the region or attempting to resolve other complex conflicts with a direct or indirect impact on European security.” (Lamberto Zannier, OSCE High Commissioner for Minorities (2017-present), the Netherlands)

Authors and Affiliations

  • School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University, Washington, USA

    Daniel Serwer

About the author

Daniel Serwer is Professor and Director of the Conflict Management program at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University, USA. 

Bibliographic Information

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