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Collective Experiences and Collective Memories: Writing the History of Crisis, Wars, and the “Balkanisation of Yugoslavia”

Chapter
Part of the Peace Psychology Book Series book series (PPBS, volume 17)

Abstract

This second introductory chapter helps to clarify the background for the subsequent presentation of new findings in a threefold way. First, it explains historic milestones and turning points, against which readers will be able to locate descriptions of collective experiences. Second, it enables the contextualisation of social and psychological processes by highlighting the importance of institutional, political and international factors in the outbreak of violent conflict. Third, it invites to discuss the construction of collective memories the ways in which historical events are recounted across post-war former Yugoslavia. It covers political and social changes in the 1980s, the war events of the 1990s and different (or similar) paths Yugoslav countries had once new borders, entities and administrations were established. The chapter relies on a broad literature dealing with the break-up of Yugoslavia, different collections of public sources and newspapers articles (especially collections prepared by HINA, Croatian News Agency Documentation Centre). Its most innovative part deals with the late 1980s and is based on the documents from three private collections, created by Josip Vrhovec, former Federal Secretary for Foreign Relations (1978–1982) and member of the Presidency of Yugoslavia (until 1989), Budimir Lončar, the last Federal Secretary for Foreign Relations (1988–1992) and Yugoslav ambassador, and Ms. Milka Planic, the prime minister of Yugoslavia (from 1982 to 1986). On the basis of these documents from the collective chief of state, the author shows how the federation lost influence in the international arena and was increasingly incapable of solving pressing problems at home, how republics were becoming increasing powerful and, finally, how these dynamics led to a series of bloody wars following the break-up of Yugoslavia.

Keywords

History Former Yugoslavia International Community War 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Humanities and Social SciencesUniversity of ZagrebZagrebCroatia

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