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Ethnic Groups and Nations in the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY)

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Ethnonationality’s Evolution in Bosnia Herzegovina and Macedonia
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Abstract

This chapter analyses how the federal Yugoslav system succeeded in managing ethnonational plurality while trying to stifle nationalism. Going from the birth of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY) to its dramatic collapse, the chapter explores the previously-existing ties between ethnonationality and (1) state institutional assets, and (2) economic issues alike, clarifying how these connections have contributed to shape the institutional and political salience ethnonationality has progressively assumed.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    Antifašističko Vijeće Narodnog Oslobođenja Jugoslavije—Anti-Fascist Council for the National Liberation of Yugoslavia.

  2. 2.

    See J. Lampe, 2000. Yugoslavia as history: Twice there was a country. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; A. Pavković, 2000. The Fragmentation of Yugoslavia. Nationalism and War in the Balkans. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

  3. 3.

    The workers’ self-management was based on the Socialist property system: workers were in control of the means and resources of the enterprises and there was no control from the side of the state. Elected workers’ councils were in charge to organize work, salaries, vacations, and distribute benefits among the workers. For a clear and critical analysis see: Chap. 2, The official ideology of self-management, pp. 48–75 in Zukin, 1975. Beyond Marx and Tito. Theory and practice in Yugoslav Socialism, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  4. 4.

    In the early 1960s, together with India’s and Egypt’s presidents, Tito set up the Non-Aligned Movement as an alternative bloc in the middle of the Cold War. The movement enormously increased Tito and Yugoslavia’s international standing, and helped the country to maintain good and balanced relations with both the West and the Soviet Union. See also Zukin, S. 2008. Beyond Marx and Tito. Theory and practice in Yugoslav Socialism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  5. 5.

    See P. Shoup, 1968. Communism and the Yugoslav National Question. New York: Columbia University Press.

  6. 6.

    The SFRY was composed as follows: Serbs 36.3 per cent, followed by Croats 19.8 per cent, Muslims 8.9 per cent, Slovenes 7.8 per cent, Macedonians 2.6 per cent, and Montenegrins 2.6 per cent. Among the minorities, the largest group was the ethnic Albanians 7.7 per cent (see Sekulić 2002: 46–47).

  7. 7.

    Curiously the official denomination of the language varied according to the republic: in Croatia it was denominated Croat-Serbian, in Serbia and Montenegro it was Serbo-Croatian, while in BiH it was Serbo-Croatian, Croat-Serbian.

  8. 8.

    Although the 1960s represented a period of general liberalization, religion always remained rather discouraged among the party ranks and those employed in the state institutions Nevertheless ‘state atheism’ did not mean religion’s disappearance, and party members and civil servants who were religious, practiced their faith far from the Party’s eyes.

  9. 9.

    League of Communist Yugoslavia.

  10. 10.

    In 1971 the Yugoslav authorities introduced the category Muslims (with a capital M) to identify the nations’ members; however, the category ‘Muslims’ (with a small m) identified the believers’ religious community. The name chosen for the new nation thus introduced some discomfort among non-religious people with Muslim origins.

  11. 11.

    The 1960s recession initiated a debate between the Northern republics—more economically developed—and the Southern ones—considerably behind the standard. Montenegro, Bosnia Herzegovina, Macedonia, and Kosovo were among the less developed republics, and in order to fill the economic divide in 1965 the ‘Federal Fund for the Accelerated Development of the Underdeveloped Republics and Kosovo’ (FADURK) was established. Nevertheless, economic reforms and the creation of the Fund was not enough to fill the economic gap and a huge economic crisis hit the SFRY in the beginning of the 1980s, increasing nationalist tensions.

  12. 12.

    The collective presidency included nine members—one representative for each republic and autonomous province, and an individual president chaired the presidency on an annual rotation basis.

  13. 13.

    Constitution of the Socialist Republic of Macedonia, Preamble, 1974.

  14. 14.

    Constitution of the Socialist Republic of Macedonia, Preamble, 1974.

  15. 15.

    Vnatrešna Makedonska Revolucionerna Organizacija—Demoktraska Partija za Makedonsko Narodno Edinstvo—Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization—Democratic Party for Macedonian National Unity.

  16. 16.

    Socijaldemokratski sojuz na Makedonija—Social Democratic Union of Macedonia.

  17. 17.

    Partia per Prosperitet Demokratik—Party for Democratic Prosperity.

  18. 18.

    Stranka Demokratske Akcije—Party of Democratic Action.

  19. 19.

    Hrvatska Demokratska Zajednica—Croatian Democratic Union.

  20. 20.

    Srpska Demoktratska Stranka—Serb Democratic Party.

  21. 21.

    Alija Izetbegović (SDA ) became President of the Republic, Momčilo Krajišnik (SDS) was appointed President of the Assembly, and Jure Pelivan (HDZ) became Prime Minister.

  22. 22.

    The Greek claim over Macedonia was that Macedonia is part of Greece, and no one can be Macedonian without being Greek; those who claim to be Macedonians, therefore, are Slavophone Greeks. In order to mediate in the ‘name dispute’, in 1993 the UN introduced the ‘provisional name’ ‘Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia’ (FYROM) while the country’s constitutional name remained ‘Republic of Macedonia’. In 2008 Greece blocked Macedonia’s membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and European Union (EU). In 2018, the Macedonian and Greek Prime Ministers, Zoran Zaev and Alexi Tsipras, signed the Prespa Agreement agreeing over a new name: the Republic of North Macedonia to solve the issue.

  23. 23.

    Bulgaria has been the neighbour with the most direct influence on Macedonia and during the nineteenth century many Macedonians fled to Sofia. The Macedonian language, also, remains still largely considered a Bulgarian dialect.

  24. 24.

    Ushtria Çlirimtare e Kosovës—Kosovo Liberation Army.

  25. 25.

    NLA (National Liberation Army ) was an ethnic Albanian organization, linked to the UÇK, active in Macedonia during the 2001 conflict.

  26. 26.

    The ruling coalition, when the conflict occurred, was formed by VMRO-DPMNE and the Albanian DPA; the opposition, instead, by SDSM and PDP. The four parties all together united in the ‘coalition of national unity’.

  27. 27.

    Ohrid Framework Agreement, 2001. http://www.ucd.ie/ibis/filestore/Ohrid%20Framework%20Agreement.pdf.

  28. 28.

    http://www.ohr.int/?post_type=post&p=63984&lang=en. Accessed 23 October 2019.

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Piacentini, A. (2020). Ethnic Groups and Nations in the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY). In: Ethnonationality’s Evolution in Bosnia Herzegovina and Macedonia. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-39189-8_2

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