After Yugoslavia – What?

By Marta Henricson-Cullberg
Carl Ulrik Schierup
Sören Sommelius
Jan Oberg

TFF Report October 1991 that marked the beginning of this project

Some passengers and crew have been asked to leave, some are leaving on their own. Others are not permitted or cannot leave for a variety of reasons.
There is chaos and shouting on board; the old captain having disappeared many are peddling for his job.
There are those who want to continue with a new captain
and repair the ship as best they can. Some want to set a new course – but how in this situation?
Others say so, but have just changed their uniforms.
Some tear open the weapons-filled cargo and arm themselves before dawn.
In the first class restaurant the guests enjoy the delicious food and wine – unaware, it seems, that storm is rising.
Passengers who used to enjoy the sun on deck seek protection in their cabins.
Mutilated and dead bodies are mysteriously found in the mornings. Not even friends and families aboard trust each other anymore.
The good old ship “Yugoslavia” is going down, slowly but surely.
Those around it are so perplexed that their rescue attempts could well
make the situation worse.
Indeed, something must be done…

We dedicate this report to
the peoples of Yugoslavia –
past, present and future
and to those who,
unnecessarily, we believe,
have already died.


Dear Reader

This is the report of a TFF conflict-mitigation mission to Croatia, Slovenia and Serbia in September 1991. Based on an analysis of numerous interviews with very different people, we present some answers to the questions: What must be done now? How can the first steps be taken towards building confidence and peace?
We sincerely hope it will help anyone concerned to think constructively about the future rather than the past and solve rather than deadlock the conflicts.

How can the war be stopped
and peace begin to develop?
Chapter 1

Here you will find a comprehensive program with concrete steps to:
– stop the war in Croatia
– develop a new order with peacekeeping and reconciliation
– involve the international community and the U.N.
– de-militarize to develop common security
– give back freedom to the mass media
– create “soft” borders around new states and autonomous provinces
– re-democratize and build long-term peace
– develop welfare and social justice
– avoid economic sanctions
– care for human and minority rights and dialogue

Finally, we provide some visions about the future beyond the year 2000. It is a plea for unity in diversity, for cooperation about common problems that can help bridge the present conflicts.

We believe there is still hope. The 75 proposals do not form a take-it-or-leave-it program. It serves conflict-mitigation – to inspire and help the peoples in Yugoslavia to help themselves and each other to solve their conflicts.

We don’t say that the quarrels should just be forgotten; rather that we must understand:

What are the roots of the conflicts?
Chapter 2

– history is important, indeed…
– but not any kind of history-writing and not any use of it
– ethnically ‘clean’ states with ‘hard’ borders is no solution
– we have to understand the underlying economic fragmentation…
– Yugoslavia as part of both socialism which has broken down
– but also of capitalism which has contributed to deepen the crisis
– poverty and social unrest breads violence
– democracy must replace ethnocentrism and populism
– EC policies have been inconsistent and armed EC peacekeeping cannot
but make things worse.

We believe, further, that all parties must address the question:

The psychological mechanisms
which block a peaceful solution?
Chapter 3

– most Yugoslavians are in a state of shock and identity crisis
– ancient hate and heroic myths surface
– omnipotent projects emerge
– more and more see themselves as victims
– and traumas are allowed to influence politics which creates
– a rather paranoid climate
– however, nationalism and ethnocratic politics is a blind alley
– and mass media must stop the psychological warfare.

Even when these issues have been addressed, we are still faced with the fact that:

There are no easy ways out!
Chapter 4

– here we list ten paradoxes and dilemmas. We conclude that there are no easy solutions that will completely satisfy any single actor or everybody. New thinking is needed because Yugoslavia is, in many essential ways, a unique case.

The main point is, however, that all will be better off if they cooperate than if they fight against each other. But that, in its turn, requires that all actors become more open to the question:

How to understand the conflicts in Yugoslavia?
Chapter 5

– we go through the A-B-C of conflicts – the Attitudes of the Actors, their Behaviour and the Conflict itself, what it is about. We are probably facing a conflict with more than 50 participants. The images of what this conflict is about, who thinks what and why they act the way they do is grossly simplified, inside Yugoslavia and abroad.

Then we offer a key to the question:

What is effective conflict-resolution?
Chapter 6

– what is conflict mitigation?
– how can actors learn to perceive, think and act in new ways?
– what are the basic rules of efficient conflict-resolution and negotiation?
– based on the best research, we suggest 6 basic principles
– and invite you to evaluate whether they can be applied in Yugoslavia.

We argue that these principles are essential. They form the basis on which we present the proposals in Chapter 1- and you have now come a full circle.

The TFF mission, its work and methods.
Chapter 7

Finally the report informs you how the mission carried through its work, whom we met, where you can learn more, etc. The mission invites your suggestions, criticism and – better – proposals. We want to carry on the dialogue with any party in Croatia, Slovenia and Serbia.

Yugoslavia exists on the map and in our thinking, but no longer in reality. A long historical process of fragmentation and overall disintegration is coming to an end. Successively it has moved closer to the periphery of the world capitalist economy. This and the demise of Titoism and communism as well as the end of the Cold War make up a formidable challenge to peoples in the republics and independent states. It also challenges ourselves and thinking about the future Europe.

It did not have to end in warfare and militarization of civil society. The escalation of violence is a sign of failure by all, not of success. Waging war is not necessarily a sign of statesmanship, nor of power, nor moral. It’s a proof that effective problem-solving and conflict-resolution have failed. War itself is a defeat for humanity – and only seldom a necessary evil. It is never a realistic means to solve problems.
We are convinced that this applies also to Yugoslavia of 1991.

War, terror and escalating day-to-day violence will solve none of the problems within and between the republics. We are equally convinced that there are alternatives to warfare. We simply don’t believe in the thesis that war is “politics with other means.” Neither do we think that it can be legitimized as the last resort after everything else had been tried. Everything else was not tried.

Most wars are fought because alternatives are not identified in time.

Chapter 1.

What must be done?

The mission wants to present the following 75 proposals. They are based on our general conflict analysis and on only 8 basic conflict-resolution principles that we elaborate on in the sixth chapter, namely:

• Focus on interests, not positions!
• Separate the people from the problem!
• Generate many possibilities and think through many steps ahead!
• Base the results on objective criteria!
• Acknowledge that the truth is usually larger than your truth and that the other is not necessarily wrong because you seem to be right!
• Goals and means are inseparable!
• Follow an unconditionally constructive strategy and do what is good for yourself but also for the future relationship!
• Remember that power is the ability to achieve one’s goals through interaction with others, not the ability to destroy them or the environment.

If practiced by all involved parties, each and all actors will be better off and the principles will improve the relationship between actors. Thereby they will facilitate the long-term efforts to find viable solutions conducive to common interests in welfare and peace.

We have taken as our point of departure that there exist common interests and that states and republics – whether totally independent or somehow con-federated – seriously prefer stability and peace to continued warfare.

1. Immediate steps to stop the war.


1.1 Cease-fire and step-by-step withdrawal to the barracks on all sides; all blockades by Croatia’s National Guard of federal army facilities cease while the federal forces stop all blockades of villages and towns.

1.2 Signing of an agreement by all republican and federal leaders to the effect that:
a) they understand and agree to respect the principle that there can be no military solutions to what is social, ethnical, political and economic problems;
b) pre-war republican borders are the only acceptable ones. In the future, they can only changed by peaceful means such as referendum or negotiations, i.e. a full recognition of the CSCE principles and the Paris 1990 Charter;
c) they will under no circumstance seek to spread the war to other republics;
d) they agree to ask for U.N. observers and peacekeepers, to be employed according to the provisions in the U.N. Charter;
e) finally, the travel safety of all negotiators be guaranteed by all republics.

1.3 Complete disarmament of all armed groups that do not belong to the federal army or national guards or the system of reservists. These two steps should be monitored by independent international observers (see 1.7);

1.4 The security of the Serbian majority areas in Croatia must be guaranteed in return for their accepting point 1.3 (see also 1.7, 1.9, 5.2 and 5.3);

1.5 The media warfare must stop. Some of the measures mentioned under point 3 can already be taken here.

1.6 Countries like e.g. the Nordic ones, could donate and operate the transmission facilities for an independent TV-news channel broadcasting all over Yugoslavia at the best sending time.

1.7 International peace-keeping with:
a) contingents of unarmed observers and
b) light-armed troops, both from countries with no particular interests in Yugoslavia – such as e.g. countries in South-East Asia, the Middle East, Africa or South America and, perhaps, the Nordic area. High numbers, low degree of armament.

1.8 Such peacekeeping should be organized by the United Nations. Their composition should emphasize the historical relations between Yugoslavia and the non-aligned movement and prevent European troops from being involved.

1.9 Three-party negotiations between representatives of Croatia, Serbia and the Serbs in Croatia to start on how to guarantee the widest possible autonomy for the latter. As a facilitating gesture, Croatia changes the constitution to mentioning the Serbs explicitly and guaranteeing their rights in accordance with international law.

1.10 Negotiations to start on how to disengage the federal army from Croatia, on the one hand, and on how to shape Croatia’s national defence forces in a purely defensive direction, on the other – which must be closely related to also 3.2 and 3.3.

1.11 Citizens’ diplomacy by Yugoslavs and the international community. Hundreds or thousands of people who facilitate dialogues on all levels and regions and who, by their presence in the country, will make renewed warfare practically impossible.

2. Confidence-building towards a new order.

2.1 Confidence-building measures inspired by the process of the CSCE – such as free exchange of information between republics/independent states, restoration of all types of transports and of the infrastructure including energy supplies.

2.2 Starting negotiations in good faith about the whole range of modalities to apply in the post-Yugoslavia era between the republics and newly independent states. This pertains to e.g. settlement of international debts, customs regulations, diplomatic relations, trade agreements, energy flows, responsibilities for international agreements, etc.

2.3 No solution should a priori be excluded; rather, many models and “brain-storming” should be used, perhaps under the guidance of neutral conflict-resolution experts and third party mediators. The methods listed in appendix 1 should be employed wherever the parties cannot agree freely.

2.4 When these arrangements have been agreed upon, recognition by federal authorities, Serbia and other republics of Slovenia and Croatia as fully independent states, whether parts of some kind of confederative structure or not.

2.5 In reciprocity, the new states should see it as a primary task to create confidence wherever they make decisions and carry them out.

2.6 It seems that more information about the EC could facilitate a more realistic assessment of what membership implies and how quickly it is likely to be achieved.

2.7 The EC should determine criteria for recognizing seceding state as independent, sovereign states.

3. De-militarization for common security.


3.1 Establish a Military Conversion Committee of military top people and civilian experts from all republics who can do research and discuss how to re-shape the national/republican forces in the future in the direction of purely defensive doctrines and capabilities and expand civilian measures such as civil defence and nonviolent resistance.
The committee’s work could take place in some kind of cooperation with the CSCE in Vienna and should contain a strong component of conflict management and conflict-resolution for future periods of crisis and tension.

Longer term:

3.2 The federal armed forces must be converted towards two new aims:
a) a small fraction of it can serve as national armed forces of Serbia – see 3.3. It should be recognized that today, independent of what is Serbia’s intentions, the federal army has been “Serbified” (because other nationalities have left it) and it will be perceived as an occupation army by all non-Serbs. Also, it seems to be under less than 100% control by federal authorities.
b) to be used for civilian purposes such as reconstruction, development of infrastructure, humanitarian and emergency aid, international peacekeeping and environmental projects, etc.
c) The conversion of the federal force aims at preserving the professional prestige of the personnel and making efficient societal use of the various types of competence and resources embedded in the federal forces. At the same time, it is important that the ‘nomenklatura’ character of the federal army be unwound as personnel is phased out and pensioned according to a set time-table.

3.3 Serbia acquires a national armed forces system if it so wishes, purely defensive as everybody else’s – see point 3.1. It is extremely important that some kind of balance is maintained and that no single republic monopolizes what was once the federal forces.

3.4 Surplus weapons and infrastructure must be converted or sold – a transaction that could earn considerable foreign currency and be invested in a new Development Fund and allocated all republics and independent states according to pre-determined criteria.

3.5 A Security Coordination Commission should be established with representatives of independent states and republics, to secure future conflict management and build confidence between everybody. It is consultative, a debate forum, while decision-making remains with the constituent units.

3.6 All parties complete the re-structuring of their defence postures in the direction of purely defensive military structures co-functioning with civil protection and, if desired, with civil non-violent defence. Defensive structures everywhere in the former Yugoslavia is a precondition for common security in the region.

3.7 All parties declare themselves neutral and non-aligned.

3.8 Republics and provinces that may not want to have military defence or cannot afford to set up independent defensive organizations should seek U.N. protection on a more permanent basis, financed by the above-mentioned fund.

4. Creating freedom of the press and education.

Short term:

4.1 Full transparency, government-based appointments of editors must end.

4.2 Party/state propaganda and state control of the media must end.

4.3 Citizens’ right not to be terrorized by media-fabricated enemy images must be respected.

Longer term:

4.4 All media should be accessible anywhere in Yugoslavia.

4.5 Media used constructively for national reconciliation and social development, for education that develops mutual understanding.

4.6 School education programs to break down the mistrust developed during the crisis.

4.7 Passing of a law by all countries and republics to the effect that the use of strongly derogatory and de-humanizing terms used about other peoples (such as e.g. “rats,””terrorists,” “criminals,” “bastards” or ethnical caricatures) is an offence.

5. De-territorialization and “soft” borders.


5.1 General recognition of the fact that the “pointilism” or ethnic heterogeneity we see on any ethnic map makes it impossible anywhere to create “hard” borders and internal structures that will satisfy all parties.

5.2 The aspirations of independence as well as autonomy must seek realization in predominantly non-territorial manners and all post-1945 borders be preserved.

5.3 All parties must accept the principle of national autonomy, civil rights and self-determination within autonomous provinces provided such areas be demilitarized and defended by civilian means only.

5.4 In exchange for that demilitarized buffer zones must be established around all such areas preventing national forces from encroaching upon the autonomous regions – and vice versa – guaranteed by international peacekeeping diplomats and forces, predominantly unarmed but in large numbers.

6. New states and autonomous provinces.

6.1 The idea of “soft” rather than “hard” borders must be developed. States that declare themselves independent should explore the possibility of becoming a new type of states. By this we mean that they could build cooperative structures in ways that make borders between them less, not more, sensitive but more penetrable than previously. In other words, economic cooperation and common security among all independent units as well as between them and what may remain of the federal structure of Yugoslavia.
The best model here may be the Nordic countries which are independent and, at the same, time practices soft borders and take each other into consideration while also pursuing their own legitimate interests – but without harming each other.

6.2 All actors must contribute to confidence-building measures in their national and regional policies. Again, the thoughtfulness practiced by the Nordic countries since 1945 in this respect can offer inspiration.

7. Re-democratization, the role of civil society and new peace-building projects.


7.1 The “hidden” resources of civilian, non-government actors must be brought into daylight and democratically employed in formal policy-making. Concretely, individuals, organizations and movements for civil society and democracy, human rights, ecological balance, peace, and inter-ethnic dialogue must be permitted to re-employ their human resources which have been crushed under “formal” politics and power games during the last several years.

7.2 Croatia ought to change from majority to percentage-based proportional representation in parliament. It is particularly unfortunate that some forty per cent of the votes give access to more than seventy per cent of the seats in parliament which is the case now. Another option is to decide on a fixed number of seats for each minority living in Croatia.

7.3 It is necessary to strengthen the international support for those individuals and initiatives – unfortunately rapidly shrinking in number now – that build on peaceful and just visions of the future and today do conflict-mitigation work by looking beyond themselves.

Longer term:

7.4 True development of democratic principles and democratic institutions. Multi-party system and free elections are necessary but far from sufficient instruments to build a stable future for all; establishing ethnically-based political parties disguised as “democratization” must be avoided.

7.5 New forms of social integration and consensus-making must be given a chance to develop. New great compromises with a social dimension, projects that can serve as bridge-builders between peoples, regions, states as well as between the present and the future are vital now. Constructive energies must be channelled into politics. Extra-parliamentary groups such as local branches of international organizations, popular movements, and citizens’ initiatives must be encouraged instead of discouraged.

7.6 The advantages of market economy cannot be denied, but it is essential to check its evils. Such control cannot rest any longer on bureaucratic voluntarism and authoritarian government. The incipient “welfare society” needs a new infrastructure based on the idea of civil society. This is essential for human creativity and organizational flexibility in the micro-electronic age and essential also for cooperation about solving the overwhelming problems of ecology and peace.

8. Re-linking for future welfare and social justice

Short term:

8.1 It must be recognized by all that independence is only possible if conceived within a framework of interdependence. The republics need each other for resources and as markets, also in the future. There is no complete independence anywhere in Europe and integration into and membership of the EC represents another type of dependence.

8.2 Instead of concentrating one-sidedly on distant injustices committed against the (particular) nation in the past and a one-sided settlement with “bolshevism,” more energy should be devoted to a careful scrutiny of the, also existing, positive and essential dimensions of the common Yugoslav integration, modernization and identity project in the post-war period.

8.3 Thinking about the future must be based on broad modes of understanding of the developments that have led to today’s one-sided dependency, underdevelopment, and destructive fragmentation. Problems will not go away by blaming others.

Longer term:

8.4 Regeneration of the now completely fragmented regional political economies, communication systems, educational and research interchange, information systems and technical cooperation. A more cosmopolitan identity formation is needed rather than one-sidedly concentrating on shortsighted agreements and supporting one part, while “punishing” others.

8.5 These solutions must build on the premises of local and regional self-reliance in a broad sense (which actually means the opposite of self-sufficiency and autarky) instead of one-sided and hierarchic bonds of transnational dependency.

9. The international community should provide peacekeeping and, later, peacebuilding.

9.1 No armed peacekeeping or intervention under any circumstances by the EC and no military presence or intervention by the United States.

9.2 The basic principle should be that good offices and other conflict-resolution techniques are provided whereas direct involvement is counterproductive.

9.3 It is time to recognize that other actors than the EC and other means than military ones stand a better chance to influence the situation constructively. For instance, the Nordic countries, the U.N. or some of its specialized organizations, groups of non-aligned countries with which Yugoslavia has had long-standing, close relations should be involved, particularly because they have no national interests and no military structure to back up such involvement.

9.4 Developing awareness of the centre-periphery problems of economic development within Europe and ways to counteract the segregation into a “First” (Western), a “Second” (Eastern) and a “Third” (Southern) Europe that will only create more social unrest and, eventually, warfare.

9.5 We also recommend that European countries remain aware of the history-based sensitivity in the Balkan area to European actions and interest moves.

9.6 The international community should support and negotiate not only with the formal representatives of republican and federal government but network with constructive movements in the Yugoslav civil society – be it movements for peace, women, ecology, civil and human rights or others.

9.7 Likewise, it should support the struggle for a truly free press that still does not exist in Yugoslavia.

9.8 We judge the situation in Yugoslavia to be so serious that citizens’ diplomacy must be mobilized – people and organizations from any country who act in their own capacity and out of compassion. They can serve as mediators, provide good offices, financial resources etc. and they can serve an important role as observers, being present and facilitate dialogues in all corners of society.

9.9 Any country or international organization with no particular interests on either side of the conflicts in Yugoslavia can provide good offices – supporting all peaceful conflict-resolution measures.

9.10 There is a considerable need for refugee relief aid and programs for repatriation of refugees and displaced persons.

9.11 The UN could develop a pilot project in Yugoslavia trying out different methods for ethnical reconciliation that could yield valuable results and practical experience in similar problem-solving in other regions (see further section 11).

9.12 It should be analyzed whether the United Nations could set up a regional conflict-resolution and peace-building commission in and for all of Europe. Like the world organization has regional commissions for economic development, the events in Eastern Europe and the Balkans justify that such an idea be discussed.

9.13 Strong support for independent initiatives serving conflict-mitigation. We here think particularly of the mission of former secretary of State, Mr. Cyrus Vance, the personal envoy of U.N. secretary-general Perez de Cuellar and the efforts of President Mikhail Gorbachev in reaching a cease-fire through inviting the parties to Moscow.

10. Economic sanctions should not be used.

10.1 We strongly recommend that economic sanctions are not applied. Disintegrative processes which we describe in chapter 2 make it abundantly clear that economic sanctions will predominantly hit the already disadvantaged and, if applied over longer time, make socio-economic disparities even bigger. Those in power are usually also economically well-off and will not be deterred by sanctions anyhow. It is also likely to add to the informal, black economy and boost economic criminality in general.

10.2 We recommend a broad economic, technological, educational, scientific, management and financing arrangement, including exchange programs and the teaching of courses on a wide range of issues such as democracy, welfare economics, alternative economics and environmental protection.

10.3 These measures should be undertaken in cooperation with and be specially designed to first help the weakest regions and minorities within the weakest republics and then the weakest within the richer states and republics. Positive incentives is more humane and simply works better as conflict-resolution measures than do patronizing sanctions.

10.4 The EC could be a main actor in these programs, but – again – others in the world community can play an important part, too.

11. The care for human minority rights and inter-ethnic dialogue.

11.1 All ethnic groups, not just minorities, should be guaranteed their safety and full autonomy on internal political, cultural, economic and social affairs.

11.2 Social acceptance of their identity and no hindrance for them to develop their language, religion, and other elements of their culture. We recommend positive discrimination – the idea of treating minorities positively in comparison with majorities – is effective conflict prevention.

11.3 We deem it important that ways be found in which leaders could apologize to citizens and leaders on “the other side(s)” for past harmful behaviour.

11.4 Possibilities to influence the political processes which govern their safety and identity needs; as has been mentioned, a proportional principle in parliament rather than a majority principle or a principle that recognize a fixed number of seats for each minority in any state/republic. But there are many other ways.

11.5 The European Council or the CSCE in Vienna could establish a special commission on human and minority rights which could monitor the adherence to the principles in Croatia, Slovenia and other Yugoslavian republics.

11.6 It is important that each and everybody learn to see a potential, a richness in the multi-ethnic and multi-cultural character of the states/republics. It should not be seen as a curse or a cause of all evils.

11.7 Public education, schooling, media dialogues, research and information centers together with practical projects in which otherwise hostile nationalities are given the opportunity to work and live together should be stimulated everywhere.

11.8 While in many parts of the world the churches and religious movements have served as mediators and created opportunities for reconciliation between conflicting groups, we recommend that initiatives aiming at reconciliation between the Roman Catholic church and the Orthodox church be taken and that they are accompanied by their disengagement from politics.

12.0 Some visions about Yugoslavia, Slovenia, Croatia and the Balkans beyond the year 2000: Towards regionalization and cooperation.

Vision 1 Confederation:

A development in the direction of coordinating Slovenia, Croatia and other parts of Yugoslavia into a common market or Economic Union with common security but preserving all other functions decentralized.

Vision 2 Balkanization in a new key:

Developing a Balkan Community (BC) which, collectively, can gain strength and achieve a bargaining position vis-a-vis the rest of Europe. It would consist of Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia-Hergovina, Voivodina, Kosovo, Serbia proper, Montenegro Macedonia, Romania, Albania and Bulgaria – the entire countries, regions and cities or organizations within them, potentially around 70 million people.
New thinking and functional, informal and elastic coordination would be much more important than building tight vertical structures. It could to be turned into a zone of peace monitored by the U.N.
In the north it would link up with the Alp-Adria and neighbouring regions in Italy, Austria and Bavaria; to the south with Greece and Turkey. In a larger perspective it would link the Middle East and Central Europe in a new way and be a regional arrangement in a new way.

Vision 3 Developing a multitude of local eco-regions

– organizing functional cooperation along geographical, environmentally natural boundaries and developing environmentally healthy cooperation about energy, industrialization, infrastructure, tourism, cultural and educational exchange, scientific research, etc.

The outer limits in this case would be the Adriatic Sea and Italy, the Ionian-Mediterranean, the Ægean Sea and the Black Sea – extending links even into Moldavia and the Ukraine.

So, 75 proposals, concrete steps that can be taken, toward creating a safer region.
They may be taken in different sequence and combined in different ways. We invite you to develop even more and better initiatives and turn now to the roots, as we see them, of the crisis.

2. Out of history for a better future.

No short description can do justice to the complexity of Yugoslavia’s history and no way of writing it would be acceptable to all republics and nationalities today. We have deliberately chosen to explain the background in a manner different from that employed by most of our interviewees (see point A).

Rather than attempting the impossible, therefore, we will open our analysis with a series of “reference points” or clues that reflect historical facts – political as well as economic. Some of them came out very strongly in our conversations, others must be emphasized precisely because they are ignored by almost all. These are the essentials which must be taken into account by any observer (letters do not indicate a priority):

A) The role of subjective and national history.

Today’s historical consciousness is extremely strongly influenced by personal experiences and by national(ist) perspectives. The majority of those we met started out by telling us the subjective history of his or her people. Looking at Yugoslavia from that angle will almost inevitably lead to the conclusion that project Yugoslavia was a failure and his or her nationality its victim.
Considerable political energy is devoted to re-writing history in this light and creating conditions to re-dressing its course in one’s own favour. To many, if not most, the present is alive with the consequence of hundreds of years of past events. In contrast, the images and ideas about the future are surprisingly short and vague.

Condition A for a better future for all:
The consciousness of people in today’s Yugoslavia must be much more directed towards the future and towards larger perspectives than that of one’s own nation and republic.

B) Ethnic “pointilism” combined with national territorial ambitions.

Any detailed map of the ethnic composition of the country looks like a piece of French pointilism. Culture, religion, nationality, languages all crisscross the formal borders between republics and provinces. Almost any nationality which is a majority somewhere is a minority somewhere else and none of them can ignore the existence of other nationalities in their vicinity. This also goes for Slovenia, the least heterogeneous area. Whether one hopes for Yugoslavia to remain a federation or one supports the independence struggle of the republics – or both – this fact simply should not be ignored. Unfortunately it is.

Condition B for a better future for all:
Any attempt to create homogeneous, ethnically ‘clean’ nation-states with “hard” borders is doomed to failure and cannot but lead to repeated violations of the rights of minorities everywhere.

C) Unequal development, fragmentation and economic warfare.

The public sector produces more than 80% of Yugoslavia’s GNP. It includes much more that the public sector in, let’s say, Sweden such as all larger undertakings in industry and agriculture, public administration, services and infrastructure, etc. The private sector consists of agriculture (almost 15% of the GNP) and the “little economy” such as handicraft, repair-work, small-scale industry and services. What Yugoslavia became known for throughout the world was the idea of self-management coupled with extreme decentralization of the federation, politically, economically and legally.

However, the overall development of Yugoslavia since the early 1970s has not been towards worker’s self-management and a cohesive democratically-monitored market- economy. Instead, the society has drifted rather quickly towards a profound re-bureaucratization. This can be seen as resting on authoritarian coalitions between local political power elites and the more traditionalist and less skilled sections of a working class fragmented by two decades of self-management experiments. It is not true, therefore, that Yugoslavia is or has always been an extremely “centralized” construction with all power concentrated to Belgrade.

What characterizes the Yugoslav “experiment” is a pattern of consistent unequal development. On the one hand, there is the more economically developed north, Slovenia, Croatia and the former autonomous province of Voivodina. On the other hand, we find the so-called “unsatisfactorily developed” republics of Bosnia-Hercegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia and the former autonomous province of Kosovo all of which are recipients of development aid redistributed from a federal fund. Serbia proper has always been officially considered a ‘developed’ donor to this fund although a whole range of indicators would actually place Serbia among the less developed.

If we take the GNP per inhabitant in Kosovo to be 100, that of Slovenia in 1947 was 331 but in 1984 as much as 766 or 7 1/2 times higher, Croatia was 212 in 1947 and 478 in 1984; Serbia without the provinces 204 in 1947 and 375 in 1984 and Macedonia 143 in 1947 and 249 in 1984. Indeed, economic growth – which has been extremely high in Yugoslavia – has caused the socio-economic gaps to widen and in an overall perspective favoured Slovenia, Croatia and Voivodina.

Since the mid-1960s, Yugoslavia has increasingly developed from a federation to a loosely-knit confederation. The party and state bureaucracies of the less developed have insisted on the ‘solidarity’ of the developed, but rejected any kind of federal control or insight; support was channeled through the hands of ‘feudal lords’ of national bureaucrats in increasingly closed regional-political economies which had no connection with the federation as a whole. Private financial speculation, corruption, bribery and nepotism increasingly belonged to the order of the day.

Republics gradually obstructed the attempts of enterprises based in other republics to establish plants on their territory. Functional differentiation, benefitting from the effects of increasing economies of scale, or common economic planning became extremely rare while duplication and parallel activity became standard features. Each republic acquires its own foreign currency account and the consequent fierce scramble for foreign currency gives foreign trade an extremely irrational character. For example, one autharchic unit might dump raw materials on the world market at low prices, while the neighbouring republic spends its highly valued foreign currency on buying of similar raw materials at a much higher price.

But at the same time, the trade of individual republics increasingly takes place within their own territory. In 1980, 72% of the total marketed production of commodities and services in Croatia, in Bosnia-Hercegovina and in Montenegro was traded within these republics. The same figures were 69% for Serbia proper, 65% for Kosovo, 64% for Macedonia and Slovenia and 63% for Voivodina. These figures are all up 10-20% since 1970.

A concomitant of all this was the breakdown of any federal infrastructure. The former federal post and telecommunications system, the energy system and the entire transport system were fragmented along the borders of individual republics. For long, there has been much less cooperation between individual Yugoslav railway companies than between the railways of different European countries.

The territorialization of separate ‘national’ sub-economies and protectionism towards all others was increasingly coupled with populist-national ideologies, also within the communist party organizations in each republic. At the same time, Yugoslavia as a whole tended more and more, from the early 1970s, to close itself off from the international context.

Thus, first, seeing the struggle for independence by e.g. Slovenia and Croatia as a consequence of having for decades been exploited by Belgrade or dominated by a ‘centralist Bolshevik dictatorship,’ is a simplification. Second, the breakdown of Yugoslavia is, to a quite considerable extent, a consequence of local power politics, mismanagement and economic ‘nation-building,’ within a framework of ever growing unequal development within Yugoslavia.

In other words, economic warfare started years before the ethnically-based political and military warfare we see now. Economically, Yugoslavia fell apart economically long before it did politically.

Condition C for a better future for all:
Yugoslavia ceased to exist as a national economic unit long ago, only now comes the political manifestation of it. To a large extent we are approaching a war fare economy in a double sense: republics are warring against each other economically and now they devote larger and larger proportions of society’s resources to military warfare, too.

It must be recognized that Slovenia and Croatia have not been one-sidedly exploited economically and that this is not the prime reason for the wish to secede. There are peoples and republics who have lost much more during the last decades and all of Yugoslavia has lost in relation to standard world economic development.
The internal economic fragmentation and national sub-economic “egoism” must give way to some new type of “post-Yugoslavia” internal re-integration.

D) Yugoslavia between socialism and capitalism in a strange new way.

Most media debates and experts emphasize that Yugoslavia is falling apart because communism has fallen apart and, closely related, because the integrative energy invested with the idea of Yugoslavia under Tito is used up. The problem is seen as almost entirely political or ideological and embedded in the dynamics of the Eastern bloc. This interpretation is reinforced by the attraction the EC as an alternative has on almost anyone in Yugoslavia.

This is, unfortunately, a rather simplified picture. The period between the Second World War and the mid 1960s was characterized by the rupture with centuries of foreign political and economic dominance and by the reconstruction of a “self-centered” economic and political order. From the mid 1960s we see a breakdown of this self-centered model and a renewed subjection of the Yugoslav federation to imperialist dominance and the country’s reintegration as an inferior partner in a transnational division of labour.

Yugoslavia, a leading country in the non-aligned movement, did not belong to the Eastern bloc although historically the communist movement was the only universal (non-ethnic, non-national) political movement in this heterogeneous and fragmented country. It is also part of the West, of the capitalist world economy. The Communist Party actually represented the only popular movement which, under the existing social conditions of peripheral capitalism, was capable of formulating an alternative form of economic development after and since the war. This explains the movement’s ascendancy to state power. That it was only a conspiracy against the people, as some will have us believe today when Communism has fallen and everybody has changed identity, is without historical foundation. But it is true that the communist ideology and practice successively expressed itself through ethnocratic policies of local ruling elites.

As pointed out, the 1970s were marked by a growing economic autarchy of single republics and autonomous provinces. ‘National economies’ emerged in each republic and each increasingly isolated unit developed it own links with the world economy – links which were characterized by ever growing financial and technological dependency.

Except for Slovenia, perhaps, the integration of Yugoslavia into the international division of labour placed the whole system in a particularly unfavourable bargaining position. And all investments from more to less developed areas fell under the control of local bureaucracies. Throughout the 1980s, Yugoslavia’s overwhelming indebtedness – almost 20 billion dollars today – has further supported the prevailing short time perspective of regional development.

Let us look, therefore, not only at the consequences of belonging to the now dissolved “actually existing socialism” but also to the “actually existing capitalism” with its centers in OECD countries.

The 1970s started out with the first oil crisis and global economic turmoil. Yugoslavia simultaneously went through the fragmentation process described above. Its single units forged individual bonds with western partners – all of which implied restrictions. For instance, in the early 1980s, 62% of all contracts with foreign partners prohibited the export of products manufactured with imported technology, presumably to prevent Yugoslavia becoming competitive internationally. Yugoslavia as such slowly but surely lost competitive power on foreign markets. Instead of promoting integration and building a strong Yugoslav economy, the wish to make ‘technological progress’ coupled with rapidly increasing indebtedness, has been important factors in the total disintegration of the economy and society.

Furthermore, the so-called ‘new international economic division of labour’ represented a formidable challenge to Yugoslavia. Newly industrializing countries (NICs) emerge with abundant, disciplined and non-unionized labour and super-advanced technology. They more than anyone else challenge the socialist countries. As an example, the Yugoslav textile industry wages towards the end of the 1980s were the lowest in the world, lower than in e.g. the Philippines and Indonesia, two of the strongest competitors on the world market.

The essential features of central federative planning such as the investment funds disappeared by the economic reforms in 1965 which pushed decentralization and ‘self-management’ to its limits, if not beyond. From then onwards, there were no effective binding long-term plans or concepts, little authority and virtually no control at the federal level. Everybody settled for prestige consumption – public and private – at the expense of fundamental collective consumption like public transport and housing and building of a viable, integrated industry. In a third world-like country like Yugoslavia, this turned out to be very dangerous.

Yugoslavia did not break down because of centralized communist planning but because of anarchic, localized market operations run by ‘feudal'(communist party) elites in individual republics who were opting for a fragmented integration into world capitalism. Of Yugoslavia’s total trade by 1988 only 13% was with the Soviet Union, while the EC stands for around 60%.

It is not the task here to explain why this economic crisis accumulated such disintegrating features in Yugoslavia or take sides among the experts who have delivered various explanations. But that it has also to do with the country’s position as a periphery, with Yugoslavia being something of a “Third World” nation in the world economic system, seems beyond doubt.

Condition D for a better future for all:
Not only socialism but also market economic mechanisms must be problematized in Yugoslavia. There is no quick ‘fix’ that can repair the crisis which has developed through decades due to internal and external factors.

E) General pessimism, poverty, and social unrest.

The strategy of ‘export at any price’ adopted in the early 1980s multiplied foreign debt and pressures from international banking capital. The 1983 Programme for Economic Stabilization emphasized further integration into the world market, strengthening of market mechanisms inside the country and the development of agriculture, tourism and small private industry. This was in compliance with policies of the IMF and the World Bank. Many other reform packages followed designed to strengthen the market relations, legalize private ownership and free formation of prices. Inflation has skyrocketed – no less than 3.700% in 1989, but reduced considerably since then – and so has foreign indebtedness.

The fact is that people have become poorer. Average real income was, by the end of the 1980s, close to the 1960 level. Unemployment in Yugoslavia in 1988 was 14,4% but 2.5% in Slovenia and 7.9% in Croatia, but 12.6% in Voivodina, 15.4% in Serbia proper, 21,4% in Macedonia and as high as 36,3% in Kosovo. Even worse, estimates of “surplus employment” in the public sector run as high as 1,5 to 2 million workers. Together with the presently 1,2 million registered unemployed we arrive at the conclusion that between a third and half of the public sector’s total labour force is actually unemployed.

About 60% of the working population is said to live on the margins of subsistence. Many work 10-14 hours per day and cannot make ends meet anyhow.

During 1988 the crisis reached the point of seriously questioning the legitimacy o the prevailing social and economic order. The number of people who are hungry and malnourished or lack adequate medical care is rapidly increasing. Depressed wages of between 300 and 500 dollars a year is the reality for thousands of industrial workers; employed people put more and more efforts into secondary activities, mutual exchange of favours and subsistence work.

No wonder, therefore, that social unrest against deteriorating living conditions became the order of the day with endless strikes and mass demonstrations, culminating in spring 1991 and still latent today. In response to that new reform packages appeared. They were all based on the strategy of ever closer integration into the international division of labour of European and world capitalism. This was combined with market mechanisms and privatization that was expected to lead to an increase in the internal efficiency of the Yugoslav economy and thereby economic growth, which in its turn should attract more foreign capital, advanced technology and know-how.
Due to decades of republican fragmentation of the Yugoslav economy and the emerging nationalist, conservative or populist-authoritarian sentiments, nothing of all this has worked or was simply sabotaged.

Condition E for a better future for all:
The new economic and development thinking and policies that are needed in Yugoslavia and its republics will depend for their success on the character of the social relations, on a new ‘contract’ between social groups trusting each other and practicing democratic principles. The present economic warfare and social misery create a dangerous sounding board for extremist politics bordering on fascism.
In consequence, any economic sanctions by the EC can only make bad things worse. Immediate assistance of various kinds to the underdeveloped regions of Yugoslavia would be much more constructive.

F) The yearning for ‘Europe’ and the EC.

Representatives of republics who seem to have different opinions about most things think alike in at least one respect: they all dream about developing a free market economy and joining the EC as soon as possible. “Europe is our salvation,” they say. They believe that ‘Europe’ must rescue them, economically as well as politically and, some at least, that the EC ought to send peacekeeping troops. This does not preclude that many we spoke with also complain that they themselves – whether Croats, Slovenes or Serbs – strongly feel that ‘Europe’ has never understood their particular history or situation.

It is as if many feel that this Europe has a duty to ‘save’ them. This of course plays well into the hands of those circles in Europe who work for the development of the EC towards a European Union that can keep a kind of superpower-like order. In a sense the EC is looking for a mission and a Yugoslavia at war will be a tempting stage to act out that role.

But it could easily result in more, not less, violence.

Condition F for a better future for all:
More realistic judgment about the benefits and drawbacks of further integration and/or immediate membership of the European Community is strongly needed if frustrations from non-satisfied expectations shall not explode in years to come. Rapid entry of Yugoslavia or single republics into the EC appears extremely unrealistic and so does great aid programs when we take into account that millions are now knocking on the doors in Brussels asking for help. It would be wise, therefore, to look for alternative cooperative structures.

G) Ethnocratic politics, populism and no true democracy.

The definitive break with ‘Titoism’ which demanded obedience to a hegemonic ideal, praising ‘unity’ and ‘brotherhood’ across ethnic-national lines, occurred in 1987 and first within the Serbian communist party. Claims were made that Serbs were exposed to persecution and ‘genocide’ by the Albanian majority in Kosovo. This became the immediate pretext for a coup within (‘inner’) Serbia’s Communist Party led by Slobodan Milosevic, Serbia’s present president, and for a subsequent surge of nationalism among the Serbs, the federation’s by far largest ethnic group, since centuries spread over most of the Yugoslav territory. The universalism encapsulated in the programme of Titoism was now finally replaced by new ethnic myths spun on nationalistic foundations.

A synthesis of radical left populist rhetoric and national mythology pressed, during 1988, for a proclaimed unification of ‘the Serbian nation’ under the auspices of party leader Milosevic. Its aim was to counteract a perceived historical conspiracy directed at the national dignity, independence and historical role of Serbs all over the federation.

Kosovo – regarded as the historical ‘cradle of Serbia’ and with status of autonomous province – was, after armed intervention in 1989, closely tied to Belgrade by change of constitution. The Albanian majority population (85-90 percent of the total) was exposed to severe oppression and soon lost any rights of political autonomy. A sweeping purge among all categories of Albanians in leading positions (in political life, education, health and other public services, administration, etc.) has taken place together with a policy of re-colonization and re-serbification led from Belgrade.

Milosevic’ moves also underpinned the radicalization of Serbian ethno-regional movements among numerous Serbian population groups spread over other parts of Yugoslavia.

Next, the ethnically mixed, formerly autonomous province of Voivodina (with Serbian majority population) was directly tied to Belgrade. At the same time a substantial Serbian minority in Croatia voiced with vigour an alleged suppression and called for support from the political elite in the Serbian hinterland. A somewhat similar scenario started to evolve among Serbs in the ethnically mixed (Serbo-Croatian speaking Muslims, Serbs, Croats) republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

During 1989 and 1990 Serbian nationalism provoked equally vehement reactions in Slovenia and Croatia. Anger over the onslaught on Kosovo and fear for an aggressively rising ‘Greater Serbia’ led to ethno-nationalistic mobilization also in these republics’. This mobilization, which coincided with the general ‘thaw’ in Eastern Europe, was (in contrast to the situation in Serbia) channelled through open and free elections. Through these elections new nationalist political movements undermined the political monopoly of the communist parties in the two republics.

In Croatia this mobilization assumed a distinct right populist stance, openly distancing itself from any socialist image. The Croatian nationalist movement used threatening rhetoric; it also changed the constitution which had mentioned the Serbs (600.000) in Croatia explicitly to include them among ‘all other peoples’.

Once it climbed to state power, its practices against the Serbian minority in Croatia made many Serbs lean towards extremism. This soon resulted in the armament of the Serbian minority population and its proclamation of autonomous Serbian territories within Croatia. The Croatian Democratic Union, HDZ, in turn built, in the course of its first year in power, the Croatian ‘National Guard’ consisting of loyal, well-paid, professional army with the express task of crushing the Serbian ‘terrorists’.

Other Yugoslav republics followed Serbia, Slovenia and Croatia with the profound ‘ethnification’ and an aggressive nationalistic language became the norm throughout the political process. The power bases of new political elites were sanctioned throughout the individual republics by free elections. Also Milosevic’ leadership was canonized through free elections in 1990 (which were, however, boycotted by the Kosovo-Albanians). In preparation for the electoral procedures the Serbian communist party underwent a simultaneous reshuffling in order to reemerge, in the name of democracy, as a broad socialist movement. Thus, a new post-communist order with politically convert leaders was installed all over the federation through the canonization of political pluralism and free elections.

However no corresponding transformation took place at the federal level. This was due not so much to reluctance from the federal political and administrative establishment, as to resistance from the ‘non-Serbian’ republics and population groups. First, in view of the pervasive character of Serbian nationalist mobilization these feared that (due to the mere numerical strength of the Serbian population in Yugoslavia) free elections on the federal level would merely lead to an affirmation of an all embrasive Serbian and ‘Milosevician’ political hegemony. Second, any strengthened public legitimacy that would accrue to a democratically elected federal government would automatically threaten the newly gained positions of power for the young post-communist elites in Slovenia and Croatia.

So, Yugoslavia has moved away from national communism to populist nationalism coupled with strong central control within each republic. It may use right-wing rhetoric and talk about free market and free media but remain probably as authoritarian as before. Or it may use leftist rhetoric and talk about workers’ self-management, working class, social equality or anti-bureaucratic reforms, and be just as elitist as before.
For all practical purposes it doesn’t mean much, however. Both types are basically ethnocratic, discipline the media ruthlessly, make exaggerated promises about reforms, welfare and freedom. They increasingly use military power to pursue their goals and force ‘national unity’ by black-and-white enemy images.

The most authoritarian features from the old system survive in the new. Genuinely new institutions have not been developed and the majority of active politicians are people who have just recently converted from communism. Many are returning home after years abroad or they have entered politics as former “dissidents” under the Tito regime. In some of these cases the personal hatred and ambitions for revenge and power is quite evident. We saw representatives of parties which have built up their own private guard and people hotels and cafées with young men in jungle uniforms carrying hand grenades, guns, and knives, most of whom knowingly or unaware of the “Ramboization” they display.

Personal cults, regressive symbols and flags, nationalist dreams of “greater” X republic proliferate and the social consciousness as well as society itself is rapidly militarizing. Rather than maturing politics as such this is the banalization and – consequently the brutalization – of it.

To take all of this at face value as “democratization” and “freedom” at any price or contrasting it positively with “dictatorship” and “bolshevism” is to jump to easy conclusions. It will harm those who are devoting their lives to the struggle for genuine democracy and the civil society – in Yugoslavia and elsewhere.

Condition G for a better future for all:
It is extremely important to be aware that democracy is more than the introduction of free elections and a multi-party system. The old power structures of Yugoslavia have not changed fundamentally. The liberalization that has taken place has also opened a political space for ethno-based parties and forces that endanger every definition of democracy and peaceful co-existence.
Yugoslavia does have resources for welfare and democracy. It could have become a leading country in this respect precisely because of its special history and political and cultural characteristics. But the present republican leadership and the accumulated situation reinforce each other in directions leading away from such a potential realization.

3. The psychology of Yugoslavian politics.

1. The shock-phase as the other side of independence.

The fall of Communism did not usher in a democratic order. Instead Yugoslavia has developed a dicriminatory and self-centered ethno-nationalism.

The psychologization of politics is quite evident in the Yugoslavian crisis. Emotionally nationalistic processes dominate, not rational politics. Some experts describe the situation as a political shock-phase with primitive political actions. They find it probable that the country will have to go through a period of independence moves and restructuring, before rationality can be brought back into politics.

Independence processes awaken great aspirations but also a great deal of anxiety and worry. The lawyer and political scientist Donald Horowitz describes ethnical conflicts to be “in lockstep with the approach of independence.” In a multi-ethnic state nationalist independence movements provoke a series of critical and anxiety-provoking questions: How will the national majority behave towards the minorities? Who will gain power? How will my identity and security be guaranteed? These questions awaken latent anxiety; one consequence is ethnical conflicts which we have seen all over the world. According to some estimates, have already cost more than 10 million their lives since the second World War.

Condition 1 for a better future for all
Military operations can only increase already existing anxieties and, thus, make things worse. The efforts to find solutions must be based on voluntary agreement. True cooperation must rest on a voluntary acceptance of some simple principles of conflict-resolution procedures and on respect for all ethnic groups.

2. Balkan-ethnical borderlines, ancient hate and heroic myths.

In the Balkans fights have been going on for centuries and this has left traces in the population. The Balkan is a multiethnic mosaic with many languages, cultures and religious differences.

Different ethnical groups have lived closely together and they have often been oppressed by foreign masters. The drive to keep one’s own identity has brought with it an intense preoccupation with identity-formative aspects and drawing a borderline in relation to neighbouring ethnical groups. Sigmund Freud talks about ”the narcissism of small differences” for this pattern of rivalry and conflict in relation to neighbouring groups. Politicians have, from time to time throughout history, played on these conflicts when mobilizing their peoples for a variety of aims.

Ethnical groups often feel a strong urge to construct (or defend) their borderlines physically and psychologically. We see this process clearly in today’s Yugoslavia where the creation of new borders leads to escalating conflicts and militarization.
Because of all the historical fights there is lot of hatred and many old traumas leading to demands for revenge. Both the first and the second World Wars have left deep wounds. In spite of integrative efforts in post-war Yugoslavia ethnical groups have not really come to grips with their own history and traumas.

National history is populated with heroes and great leaders who were known for their struggle either against other nationalities or against all sorts of imperialistic advances. Therefore, dying with the sword in one’s hand in defence of the motherland is considered noble in many national myths and plays a lively role for many in today’s existential drama. Consequently, compromises and conflict-resolution with peaceful means are seen as less heroic.

Condition 2 for a better future for all
A deep realization that history has brought traumas to every national group in the region and that these cannot remain centrally formative elements of today’s politics without causing extreme harm. However difficult it may seem: some must start from scratch and put history’s quarrels behind them.

3. Omnipotent projects.

Almost every person we interviewed gave us a historical review of the last 400-500 years, sometimes even longer. Generally they focused on those historical figures which support their group in its claims. They always argue that their ethnic group has been the victims and therefore must be compensated, if necessary by violence and revenge. Nationalistic omnipotent projects of different kinds flourish.
History is intensely alive in these mutually incompatible projects which the different republics launch. Maps of the Serbian state at critical years in history are passed around and cause anxiety with non-Serbs since they imply a change of the present borders.

“Greater Serbia” is the most acute project as it is involved in the Serbian-Croatian conflict. There are however also a “Greater Slovenia,” a “Greater Croatia” and a “Great Albania”-project.

The omnipotent projects are partly a way to reestablish the prestige and pride of one’s own ethnic group but also a way to handle the feelings of victimization.

Condition 3 for a better future for all
Obvious to a neutral observer, all these omnipotent projects are incompatible with each other and with the security and identity needs of other ethnic groups. They cause others outside each of the projects to feel scared because they promise potential victimization also in the future.
It should be emphasized that there is nothing wrong with pride in one’s own nation and identity. Human beings have a self-evident right to be proud of who they are and where they belong. But when this turns into an instrument – an -ism as in nationalism, when it becomes a tool for self-aggrandizement and the depreciation of others because of their nationality (of which they are proud, of course), it is no longer noble.

4. Position of victim and chosen trauma.

All ethnic groups we talked with consider themselves victims. From a historical point of view this is reasonable since every group has its trauma. The problem is that these old traumas are kept alive and re-appear in new shapes. Here, as in all other conflicts with similar ingredients, we are facing an easily lit gunpowder keg.

The present economic situation is also interpreted in victimization terms by many. Slovenia and Croatia point out that Serbia and the federal institutions exploited their industrial and economic position and prevented them from becoming “part of Europe.”

The Serbs on their side consider themselves economically exploited as they produced farming products and raw material to a low price for the other republics and have not benefitted from the development fund. They also stress that they were constitutionally crippled by the autonomous provinces, Kosovo and Voivodina, which could influence Serbian politics in ways Serbia could not influence theirs, it is stated. All groups show statistics which prove their point.

The victim position gives everybody a perfect rationalization to carry on with certain projects, be it militarization, abolishing of minority rights, economic warfare or independence. The victimization position allows you to displace frustration on to the other(s). Actors can avoid handling difficult problems by locating causes outside the system and responsibilities outside themselves. The world is divided into “bad” guys and “good” guys.

Every ethnic group in Yugoslavia has its “chosen trauma.” A “chosen trauma,” according to psychoanalyst Vamic Volcan, means that “members of each new generation share a conscious and unconscious wish to repair what has been done to their ancestors and to release themselves from the burden of humiliation, that is now part of their identity.”

To the Serbs the chosen trauma is the Ustasha genocide. For the Croats it relates to “Greater Serbia” and many Serbian attempts at domination. Politics have not given people the possibility to mourn and thus the old traumas reappear when circumstances are ripe for it.

Every party can maintain their feeling of exploitation due to the mechanism called “the egoism of victimization.” John Mack defines it this way: “The egoism of victimization is the incapacity of an ethno-national group – as a direct result of its own historical traumas – to empathize with the suffering of another group.” As long as they have not healed themselves from their traumas, the craving for revenge is ever present, latent or manifest. The empathic capacity with the other side is blocked and thus the individual does not feel sorry for their deeds of for the traumas of the antagonist. Victims produce new victims in a vicious circle.

Condition 4 for a better future for all
It must successively be understood by all sides that the desire for revenge, latent or manifest, on national and subjective history is self-defeating. An eye for an eye will one day make the whole world blind, said Mahatma Gandhi.

5. Unmourned traumas as the fuel of politics.

When the communists came to power after the Second World War, the terrible crimes committed during the war was tucked away. Elsewhere in Europe there has been a constant process since the war condemning the crimes and mourning the victims of the Nazi period. In Yugoslavia the positive appeal ”Brotherhood and Unity” was launched and integrated with the education system. This was good in and of itself, but the old traumas were not dealt constructively with during Tito’s era.

In the present propaganda against the Croats, war time memories are brought to life again; they are said to be “genocidal people.” Mirroring this, “Cetnics” and “Serbian terrorists” is used as bad names for Serbs by Croats. The sad thing about this is that, in the minds of many people, all Croats/Serbs today are like that. Being violent or mean is said to define their respective character and identities.

For obvious reasons, none of these one-sided and generalizing images have anything to do with the truth. Many representatives of the Serbs living in Zagreb and refugees from Osijek described that they have been living side by side with the Croats for generations and they want to continue doing so. They have their own culture and they were not keen at all to be allied with the Milosevic’s regime. The risk, however, is that the present hateful propaganda against Serbs (in Croatia) and against Croats (in Serbia) makes it impossible for a long time ahead to live together. People who have lived as neighbours are suddenly turned into enemies.

Condition 5 for a better future for all
It should be recognized that each group will benefit the moment one breaks out of the vicious circle of victimization.
The peace conference in the Hague must, sooner or later, be accompanied by reconciliation initiatives. They should try to make the leaders of the republics aware of the problems and find ways for them to publicly apologize for historical wounds and make up for the victims by all sorts of symbolic means. A healing process of the newly afflicted wounds is also necessary.

6. Paranoid climate and history as a curse.

In Yugoslavia we found a rather pervasive paranoid tendency – a feeling of international conspiracy against the country or republic. True enough, the Balkan states have been manipulated throughout by the great powers. But there is something more than this to it when, for instance, president Milosevic claims that Serbs were exposed to persecution and ‘genocide’ by the Albanian minority in Kosovo.

Psycho-historians who have studied the rhetoric used by national leaders who contemplate war have found that leaders refer to conspiracies against the state/themselves to legitimate their actions. Playing on peoples persecutory anxieties is a powerful tool in the mobilization of the masses.

History is not felt as a rich reservoir in today’s Yugoslavia but, rather, as a curse.
In the nationalistic propaganda nothing is forgotten and nothing has been left behind. History is used as a weapon in the political struggle. Nothing is learned from history but it is used to further your own purposes in the political propaganda. In this regressive political climate the Yugoslav peoples become prisoners of their own history.

Condition 6 for a better future for all
A policy that looks above the shortsighted and self-centered perspective – like Mikhail Gorbachev did when he took the first steps towards ending the cold war. He stopped painting enemy images and blaming others for the existence of all troubles and combined self-criticism with policies of change and initiatives for cooperation.

7. Nationalism and ethnocratic politics – a blind alley.

Elias Canetti, in his seminal work “Masse und Macht,” remarks that it is difficult to define what really makes up the national characteristic. Nationality is more to be seen as a religion and “in a war the national religions become acute.”

Yugoslavia is in the midst of an ethno-nationalistic whirlpool with a strong tendency to bring up dark feelings from the deep waters. What started out as a relatively harmless mobilization of people by an accentuation of the worth of each nationality turned into something much more dangerous as “the others” became degraded, dehumanized. The risk of a serious discrimination is quite obvious. Slovenia is in a better position as it is ethnically much more homogeneous than the other republics, but even so future problems cannot be excluded.

The unleashed discriminative attitudes lead to deep splits in society and to numerous personal tragedies since there are so many mixed marriages, ethnically mixed villages and towns and many children with a mixed background.

How can this nationalistic movement be explained? What are the roots?

A. History.
The Yugoslav republics have been living under foreign masters for centuries. They were followed by the authoritarian Communist regime. This provides the basis for nationalistic ideologies and, successively, a strong wish for independence. This is easy to understand but the tragic fact is that this process, in a multi-ethnic society, gives rise to widespread anxiety.

B. Economic distress is a fertile soil for ethno-nationalism.
We have already dealt with the ever deepening economic crisis of the 1970s and 1980s. It has created a deep discontent among the richer as well as among the poorer. Ethno-nationalistic sentiments offer you a way out, an opportunity to put blame on others outside one’s own group.

The communist regime did not fulfill its promises and the present governments have definite problems to fulfill theirs. Discontent and frustration can be handled rationally, however, when the root causes are addressed. But it can also be handled irrationally by displacing the frustration on to some other group. The political systems in the different republic have not yet matured enough to come to grips with the severe economic problems and then it is easy to put the blame somewhere else.
Yugoslavia started to conduct economic and quasi-political warfare long before 1990; the blame was directed to other peoples and other republics within the federation, not outside it even though some of the reasons for the present economic crisis must be found in the world economic system.

The war itself takes away the public attention from the difficult socio-economic problems and for the time being conceals the absence of real economic planning and development. In Serbia the war plays an important role in mobilizing the people around the government and makes them tolerate the distressing socio-economic situation. In Croatia nation-building serves similar purposes.

C. Nationalism is also an identity response to the vacuum left after the collapse of the communist rule.
There was no democratic tradition to fall back on. In periods of crisis, the need for points of orientation is intensified. Then nationalistic ideas gave a structure to the situation.

The old Yugoslav identity was stained by the mistakes of the communist period. The political propaganda focussed on re-establishment of the identity on the basis of ethno-nationalism.

Ethno-nationalism affects the deep narcissistic layers in our personality (narcissism = conditions of self-worth/self-love). When our identity is shaky – as was true in the crisis in Yugoslavia – people are especially receptive to identity supporting ideologies.

Ethnical movements frequently turn to historical myths to support their cultural identity in crisis situations. Such myths describe how their ancestors fought bravely in wars and, perhaps, achieved a period of prosperity and pride. History may have taken this away, but the promise of the myth is that the “golden kingdom” will re-appear. Indeed, this kind of thinking is present everywhere in today’s Yugoslavia.
Our “sense of self” is regulated by cultural amplifiers. In our “extended self” such symbols as the flag, the national anthem, our language etc. are important ingredients and emotionally loaded. By manipulating these symbols individuals and entire populations can be manipulated and they certainly are in Yugoslavia.

If life doesn’t give that many chances for us to be recognized, to feel pride about our job/life, etc., the need for recognition can be satisfied at the group- or national level. To reestablish the narcissistic balance is thus a central issue for the politicians in a crisis.

“The level of group narcissism is commensurate with the real satisfaction in life,” writes the famous psychoanalyst Eric Fromm. The group narcissism is important for the solidarity and unity within the group, but it is often regulated by discriminative postures against other groups. Enemy images grow like mushrooms and all rationality is swept away in this process. The image of “we” or own group being reasonable, trustworthy, hard-working, for peace and freedom and human rights – while others are discredited – very pervasive on all sides. These ethnic groups have been living together for years before the nationalistic propaganda started to activate the historical hatred.

Condition 7 for a better future for all
Instead of using the nationalistic myths, the identity vacuum must be filled with new forms of participation, true democratic procedures and institutions and co-operation between those who consider themselves enemies today.

8. Enemy images and the role of mass media

The creation of enemy images is based on a projective process. It means that we dispose of the negative aspects hidden within ourselves or our own group and use it to characterize somebody else with. In this manner we cleanse ourselves from any doubt that these negative aspects could actually be a problem on our side.

When the animosity has passed from a verbal war to real war, enemy images serve to de-humanize the enemy. A “terrorist” is somebody we can feel only little sympathy for and talking about the opponent as “those rats” or “primitive types” – as we heard over an over also helps de-humanizing the others. When we make the enemy “less human” we diminish the guilt we ought to feel from killing him. Extra strong enemy images, blown up by media, are needed in wars – such as this – where soldiers have to kill their former “brothers.”

Media are intensely involved in this war and the government or party control of media is fairly tight. As always in war, media are used to raise the morale of your own side and depicting exclusively the horrors committed by the other side.

Most Yugoslavs do not have the possibility to watch TV-channels from the neighbouring republics. During the war, transport between Zagreb and Belgrade has been cut off, making it extremely difficult for people to get the newspapers from the other side. Thus they are unable to obtain a balanced picture or take stand independently. Watching Croatian and Serbian television gives just the opposite picture of the same days fighting. In Belgrade you can watch a more independent TV-channel provided you stay awake until 2 o’clock in the morning!

Media and its politicized leadership is a main factor in today’s war psychosis. They amplify the psychological mechanisms we have dealt with in this section. Empathy with the other side, with those who somehow believe something else than you, becomes virtually impossible. Such views can hardly be aired in the present inflamed atmosphere in which those who are not for you are simply against you.

It will take a long time to overcome this re-created hate. It is much more easy to make people suspicious of each other than it is to make them trust each other. A friend’s single bad deed can make him an enemy, but a single good deed by an enemy does not make him a friend.

A whole new generation of children is growing up with this hate and fear. Young citizens who have grown up feeling as “Yugoslavs” finds themselves categorized as Serbs, Croats, Bosnians or even “Chetnics” and “Ustachas.”

Also, young men are also heavily influenced by the “Rambo model” as they enroll in the war. We saw them everywhere in Croatia in their military camouflage uniforms, black ribbons around the head, T-shirts with warrior slogans, knives tucked into their boots, a hand grenade dangling from the belt and a Kalachnikov on their back. They are guarding the road blocks or they hang out at cafées, hotel and street corners and they are all supposed to shoot those who were their neighbours and friends just a few months ago.

Condition 8 for a better future for all
A free press and an independent TV channel are necessary prerequisites for people to have a chance to find out that the truth is not a simple category and that things can be seen from many and legitimate angles.
Making a dialogue for reconciliation possible after the war where trust must be reestablished is also absolutely necessary.

9. Identity-security and participation.

Research on ethnical conflicts shows with abundant evidence that one root problem is that very essential human needs have not been satisfied. “These are security, distinctive identity, social recognition of identity and effective participation in the processes that determine conditions of security and identity” – writes Edward Azar.

In Yugoslavia all ethnic groups are occupied by a need to express their national identity. The problem is the egocentric aspects of this process with expansionist projects which intrude on other groups’ security and territory. This leaves is little room, if any, for empathy; everybody seems quite unaware about the difficulties and intense reactions they provoke in others when they launch their ethno-national policy and ideology. In a multi-ethnic society it is imperative that the democratic processes are structured in such a way that the rights and security of minorities are guaranteed.

Condition 9 for a better future for all
A policy that realizes that independence and self-determination is a complex process in a multi-ethnic society. The security and identity of all national and ethnic groups must be guaranteed and so must the opportunity to influence the decisions governing identity and security. Civil courage will be needed, defying the propaganda and defeatism that pervades the fibers of society right now.

Chapter 4
There are no easy ways out.

1. A politico-economic Catch-22.
Political consensus about economic development is a precondition for making economic reforms work; economic development is a precondition for solving a series of political, ethnic, psychological and social problems. Thus, Yugoslavia is caught in a Catch-22 situation.

2. There are two basic strategies to achieve independence.
One is to present the central government and the world with a fait accompli – “from today we declare ourselves independent. Later we can try to solve the problems concerning the federation’s international debt, customs, duty and taxes pertaining to our new borders, minorities, human rights, transport, energy, citizenship, foreign political and economic relations, military affairs etc.”

Another is to declare that “it is our legitimate right to secede and we aim to declare ourselves an independent state X months or years from now. We hereby invite everybody concerned to negotiate with us the terms (see above problem areas) of this independence, but the deadline cannot be changed. Here are our proposals…”

From a conflict-resolution point of view – see chapter 6 below – the second line is clearly superior to the first. It acknowledges that there is a common problem and states clearly the goal and the way to achieve it; it simply builds on creating confidence through a process of often painful change. It acknowledges that there are other units who are affected whereas the first line is more “egoistic.”

Secession and independence are legitimate goals and the wish to create it understandable, but secession is also a conflict-resolution process itself. The means and the goals are inseparable. The way independence is achieved will, to a large extent, shape the character of the new independent society.

We believe that the secession process could have been less painful if Slovenia and Croatia had pursued a consistent conflict-resolution strategy and the federal government as well as the other republics had been more open to participate in it. On the other hand, the federation does not seem to have clear procedures for cessation.

3. New old states?
To the Slovenes and the Croats, the solution is secession and the creation of independent states. New states, for them, mean “hard” or firm territorial borders, establishment of separate state apparata, national armed forces, customs and passport regulations, social mobilization around national leadership which emphasize a “we/them” antagonism.

Neither cooperation nor stability will automatically evolve from the creation of such new “traditional” states. Precisely by cementing some of the conflict dynamics – imitating the classical nation-states in Europe – they will transform themselves into more strongly polarized and militarized societies.

4. Can territorialization be avoided?
The ethnic composition within Yugoslavia – the “pointilism” or heterogeneity we see on any ethnic map – makes it impossible anywhere to create borders and internal structures which will satisfy all. In Yugoslavia, perhaps more than anywhere else, the territorialization of national aspirations is a dead-end. Therefore, struggles for independence ought to focus on all other dimensions – cultural, political, ethical, economic, etc. – of independence and not predominantly on territory and borders. What is needed for genuine conflict resolution is less emphasis on the territorial dimension – and this is the opposite of what both the Slovenes, the Croats and the Serbs, each in their own ways, do today.

5. From one type of dependence to another?
The federal structure of Yugoslavia was uniquely decentralized and permitted the republics to exercise a considerable degree of autonomy. As has been described above, this was certainly not without problems. But the stronger the wish to secede and live independently, the larger the risk of “national selective perception”- that both the negative aspects of federal cooperation and the perceived benefits from declaring oneself independent are overestimated.

There is a striking parallel here with divorce processes of married couples. Each gets their freedom, but what could have been achieved together disappears. Some quickly engage in a new relationship – and soon find themselves dependent anew.
The leaders of Croatia and Slovenia argue that secession will solve almost all their problems and seem to believe that international recognition will come within a few weeks, after which follows UN membership and the dispatch of their membership applications to the EC. If all this takes much longer time than expected, frustration will rise, probably beyond any democratic control.

Integration into the EC could well imply an intensification of the ongoing overall integration into a type of market capitalist division of labour which – as we have already seen – is a major factor in explaining the basic problems of the republics as well as Yugoslavia itself. The autonomy which new states will have within the EC – should they be admitted – is probably considerably less than the one they have all previously enjoyed vis-a-vis Belgrade.
Getting out is only one thing. Getting along alone is quite another matter and getting along – independently – in another relationship is a third matter.

6. From old to new problems?
No doubt the creation of new states solves some problems, but it also raises a range of new ones, for the secessionist itself as well as for others in a federative structure. How to defend oneself, when having been used to federal protection? How to find new trade partners, solve problems that were earlier pushed upwards and develop an independent foreign policy?

We do not believe that secession in itself is a magic formula or a goal in itself. It is, rather, a tough political challenge and a means of realizing some goals and aspirations. When they have been outlined, the modalities of independence become easier to establish.

7. Almost all politico-psychological energy in today’s Croatia, Slovenia and Serbia seems to derive from the past.
Independence struggles – as well as attempts to hold the federation together – are motivated more by perceptions of having been treated unjustly than by visions of a future society’s welfare. Sad to say, very few seem to have any ideas about how to get out of the present quagmire in the short-term perspective and virtually nobody has any comprehensive future program or philosophy informing their own actions over time. Politics are anything but future-orientated. Fatalism and defeatism are rapidly spreading. In situations such as this the alternatives to war fade out of sight.

8. False perceptions are developed systematically on all sides.
We were told horror stories and heard derogatory terms about others everywhere. A couple of examples will illustrate the false perceptions floating around. Thus, we were told time and time again in Croatia and Slovenia that the “SANU Memorandum” of the Serbian Academy of Sciences was a time table for Milosevic’ expansionist policies.

None of those in Croatia and Slovenia who had talked about it could provide us with a copy of the memorandum. We finally obtained it from scholars in Belgrade and learned that, in its entirety, it is an informed analysis of the disintegration process we have discussed in Chapter 2 in this report as well as an analysis of the consequences for Serbia of the Titoistic principle of “a weak Serbia is equal to a strong Yugoslavia.”

There is nothing in it which can justify the descriptions we heard, e.g., that this Memorandum was the “Mein Kampf” of Milosevic…It argues towards the end for a modern democratic Yugoslav federation based on pluralism, a rational economic system, extended civil rights and a cosmopolitarian cultural outlook. But admittedly, it also says that, if national exclusivism is aggravated, the only alternative for Serbia will be to start to define and defend her national interests and those of Serbian minorities in other republics.

Also, the mission was the first ever to ask for an English copy of the Serbian Socialist party’s program. It does not exist; the Serbo-Croatic-speaking member of the mission studied it. The international debate – which is not necessarily based on knowledge of the Serbo-Croatic language – has conveyed the image that this is simply a “Bolshevik” or old-style communist party, the last in Europe.

Naturally, there may be quite some difference between a party’s program and what it actually does. But a closer reading of the program, at least, does not support this accusation.

False perceptions also abound in Belgrade. We were often told that almost no intellectuals or popular movements in Croatia and Slovenia were critical of their own government as are, indeed, many intellectuals and activists in Serbia. This image is quite unfounded, however. We found many analyses by Serbs of Serbian politics quite parallel with analyses by Croats of Croatian politics.

9. The need for caution by the EC.
The EC – or individual members of it – has undertaken the following in relation to the Yugoslavian crisis:
a) first, supported the principle of holding Yugoslavia together,
b) later on hinted at a clear support for Croatia and Slovenia as independent states (which may have to do with the strong lobbying position of some 300.000 Croats in Germany),
c) discussed the possibility of sending up to 20.000 lightly armed troops and 10.000 support personnel to control the implementation of cease-fires, perhaps organized by the West European Union,
d) stationed observers; to begin with they came to monitor the cease-fire in Slovenia, were stationed in Croatia and have had extreme difficulties ever since in operating effectively there,
e) put political pressure on Serbia and the federal army,
f) threatened to introduce economic sanctions (the EC covering about 60% of Yugoslavia’s foreign trade); finally, and most promising, it has
g) provided good offices for negotiations in the Hague.

Activities a – f) have not been very successful or carried any productive results, neither are they based on any cohesive philosophy of conflict resolution.

It seems abundantly clear that the European Community is not able to speak with one voice; it does not have the experience, the procedures, the machinery or the personnel to play the role it has attempted in this case. Therefore, we strongly warn against military involvement in this, extremely complex, conflict.

Too many particular national (European) interests are involved. They can be explained by individual countries’ different relations with Yugoslavia, differing historical experience and the existence of Yugoslavian immigrant citizens in these countries.

Also, Europe’s own inherent “Balkanism” seems quite pronounced in this particular situation where we see a new anxiety and a new articulation of interests connected with a recolonization of “the second Europe”- a new “scramble for Eastern Europe.”
At an early point, Croatia and Slovenia seem to have been given reasons to believe that quick integration into “Europe” together with “universal solutions” of their internal economic and social enigmatic problems would be provided once independence was declared. This has been the German and Italian position, Chancellor Kohl even threatening to recognize Slovenia and Croatia if Serbia did not stop its military assault. Simultaneously, the Spanish and the British governments and most notably Francois Mitterand have supported the preservation of Yugoslavia federal entity.

It must also be feared that, in reality, there is too much preoccupation with Europe’s own immediate prestige and particular ambitions with a potential role as a global superpower. Various circles are already using the Yugoslavian crisis as an argument for creating a unified EC defence structure.

10. A “scramble” for Europe or a case for the UN?
One may also ask whether the emerging rich “fortress Europe” model is, essentially, the one and only in a situation where, in fact, we are dealing with the problems of a new economic/political periphery. Are there other solutions which would acknowledge the affinity of the Eastern European question, (of which the Yugoslav issue can be regarded as one of the most radical and mature cases), with the far more general north-south issue and the issue of an emerging transnational world order with all its associated aspects? It seems that the world is going through a phase of recasting hierarchies of classes, nations, regions and of all the current complex processes of simultaneous globalization and regionalization/ localization.

This points to the necessity of a reorganized UN rather than a narrow (internally segmented and inexperienced) European power block as the more appropriate conflict mediator.

What is strongly needed is a forum that could go beyond a (Western) Eurocentric horizon and involve a broader spectrum of states and interests with their roots in “the second Europe” in general as well as broad influence from NICs and LDCs in general. It would relocate the Yugoslav issue to its appropriate place – not as an “internal” EC or “European” geopolitical problem but as one acute aspect of negotiating a more just and appropriate rearranged world order.

In this sense Yugoslavia could become an essential test-case for many prospective conflicts likely to surface during the remainder of our century (Soviet Union/Indian sub-continent, etc.).

More specifically the UN as the main conflict mitigating agency could enjoy far broader authority in the Yugoslav context than what has until now been the case, where the state leaders of individual republics have systematically endeavoured to attach themselves to and to manipulate particular interests within a divided EC.
It would act to give signals to individual Yugoslav actors that this is not a question of short term interests and quick solutions; it is a question of long term development strategies in a global perspective, and as such it could serve to redirect the focus from the immediate spoils to a common problematic.

It is somewhat peculiar that the world community seem to preclude the active involvement of the United Nations which has the peacekeeping machinery and an experience acquired through decades whereas the E.C. which lacks it is considered the most appropriate actor under the present circumstances.

It is encouraging that U.N. secretary-general Perez de Cuellar recently appointed former minister of foreign affairs, Mr. Cyrus Vance, as his special envoy to Yugoslavia.

Chapter 5
How to understand the Yugoslavian conflicts.

To understand a conflict we must know, at least:
A) the Attitudes or perceptions of people taking part in it
B) their Behaviour – what they do and how they participate in it, and
C) the substance of the Conflict – what it is about.

This is the A-B-C of conflicts; it sounds simple but it is extremely complex.

• About A – The Attitudes and the Actors

Many of the attitudes of many actors are described in chapter 2 and 3. This is something different from perception; people can perceive a conflict to be about one thing while it is obvious to a neutral observer that it is about something else. How people perceive things will often determine what their attitudes to it are, how they feel about it.

Attitudes can only exist with actors, individuals, groups, organizations and institutions. The Yugoslavia conflict formation is, no doubt, one of the most complex in today’s modern world. There are not just a few actors, but many. Let’s simply count just some of the main ones:

1) Serbia, 2) Croatia and 3) Slovenia. But then there are 4) the federal government and the 5) Presidential Council and 6) the federal armed forces. Within each of the main actors there is a government but also an opposition (7, 8, 9) and in Croatia, there are the Serbian minority, the roughly 600.000 people which, according to their different attitudes, can be sub-divided into at least 4 groups (10, 11, 12, 13) – and then there are the remaining republics Bosnia-Herzegovina (14), Macedonia (15), Montenegro (16) and the former autonomous provinces Voivodina (17) and Kosovo (18).
Crisscrossing all this there are the media, there are citizens’ initiatives, popular movements and many types of organizations that exercize various kinds of “informal” influences on the conflict and its outcome.

To that we may add all other minorities who participate in delicate balances at various points and could well change from being passive or indirect participants today to active participants tomorrow, and there are all the countries along the borders of Yugoslavia who keep a close eye on what happens – some of which could also be involved sooner rather than later.

Then there is the international community – a number of individual European countries, the EC as such, the West European Union, the CSCE, super powers, the banking world, etc. – and there are the Croats, Serbs etc. living abroad and upholding various links with Yugoslavia, many of which participate in the conflict in one way or another.

In summary, we are talking about more than 50 directly and indirectly involved participants in this conflict – individuals and groups who, more often than not, are divided among themselves. Let’s illustrate this complexity further by describing the different attitudes and behaviours of just one set of actors, namely the Serbian minority in Croatia who play a very central role in the conflict formation but have played a surprisingly small role in the media.

The Serbs in Croatia – complexities and mixed principles.

The following distinctions can be made to characterize the Serbs in Croatia; some are for complete assimilation with Croats and see the differences between Croats and Serbs as purely historical. Many of the roughly 60.000 Serbs living in Zagreb and many in the countryside who have experienced no problems with Croatian neighbours for years belong here.

Then there are those who work for equal citizens’ rights everywhere as part of a constitutional State but have no particular views on the question of autonomy. Next, there are those who demand various degrees of autonomy for the Serbs within a Croatian state, some of whom argue for minority status while others demand to be treated as a nation.

Next we find those who are in favour of the creation of independent Serbian states in areas of Croatia where Serbs are clearly in majority. A couple of areas have already declared themselves to have that status, e.g., in Kraijna around Knin and in Eastern Slavonia (the word Kraijna derives from the Middle Ages and denotes a heroically defended military border and was used about the border area between the Austro-Hungarian and the Ottoman Empire going from what is today Romania to the Adriatic coast). They are well-armed (in Knin 35.000 troops of various kinds) and have set up their own governments and are very determined that they will never again belong to Croatia.

Finally, among those who are in favour of various degree of autonomy within Croatia or secession from it, there are differing opinions about the relations with Serbia; some argue for rather complete independence from Serbia, others for some kind of association – Knin’s labour union, for instance, is already linked with Serbia’s; and finally there are those who want the Serbian dominated areas of Croatia to be part of a ‘Greater Serbia.’

To put all Serbs in Croatia in the same category is, therefore, extremely misleading.
To understand their situation we must also understand the principles which Croatia and Serbia profess to advocate. Croatia argues for the self-determination of states which is the reason for declaring Croatia independent from Yugoslavia; by the same token it shows that it does not accept the self-determination of peoples, e.g., the Serbian minority, within the Croatian state and would not freely accept the creation of states there.

Serbia, on the other hand, advocates the self-determination of peoples but not of states; thus it is for self-determination for the Serbian minority but basically against the secession of Croatia from the federation but, however by the same token, Serbia abolished the autonomy of Kosovo and Voivodina and made the principle of “all peoples’ self-determination” impossible for the Albanian majority in Kosovo. Interestingly enough, Croatia argues that Knin is the “cradle” of Croatia dating back to the Middle Ages while Serbs see Kosovo as their symbolic “cradle.”

• About B – The Behaviour

Why do we do certain things and not others in conflict situations? Probably because we interpret what the other say or do. What people believe reality to be often becomes true in its consequences. Also, human behaviour is determined by how we perceive conflicts to be really about and how our attitudes are to the opponent and to conflict-resolution itself.

Imagine someone we have earlier had a conflict with sends us a letter saying “I am sorry for what I said in our quarrel last week.” We can choose to mean that he or she is not at all sorry but just trying to be smart in order to create a nice atmosphere – and then take another offensive step. So, we write back and repeat our complaints and hint that we have our reasons not to trust that type of letter. Suppose now that we have actually misinterpreted this person and that she was really sincere. Our sour response makes her think: “Damn it if I do and damn it if I don’t! From now on I don’t care about what they think”- and then actually does what we predicted could be the next mean blow against us. By then, everything is worse for us both and we are further from mutual understanding than ever. Who bears responsibility for that? Could we have acted differently although we did not trust her nice-looking letter? Could she have communicated her sincerity in a more effective manner?

What we do often becomes the “cause” of a certain activity by another actor. We shall not here enumerate how this applies to Yugoslavia. The report is full of examples of conflict behaviour by all parties – and how one step by A starts a chain reaction with B and C and…and ends up justifying A’s next steps after which all parties are further from a common understanding and peaceful coexistence.

• About C – the Conflicts

Then there is the substance: What is the conflict(s) really about?

In the Yugoslav case, most would probably answer that it is about historically determined animosity and mistrust between different nationalities. Media coverage during the last months gives the impression that it is basically a conflict between Serbia and Croatia. There is some truth to this, but only some. If it was that simple, how do we explain that it breaks out in warfare only now?

Others might say that it is an ideological struggle between “socialism” or “dictatorship” on one side and “capitalism” or “freedom and democracy” on the other. But, if so, how do we explain that it has so much to do with territory, military matters and national aggrandizement on both sides whereas none of the protagonists use these ideological terms in their struggle?

In chapters 2 and 3, we have touched upon many and varied roots and mechanisms of the extremely complex Yugoslavian conflict scene. There is certainly no single cause, one mechanism that – if regulated – would open up for general conflict-resolution.
Like an old tree, the root suckers branch off in all directions, ever deeper, ever broader.

Chapter 6

1. What are we talking about?

It is of central importance that no countries, foreign governments or international interests tell the peoples in Yugoslavia what they ought to do. Solutions which are imposed on others are not genuine solutions.

Our mission as well as everybody else who has a competence in the art of conflict management and -resolution can do mitigation. Mitigation means to create such thinking and such conditions that can help the Yugoslavs help themselves out of the crisis. Only they, not we, can select the viable long-term solutions that they will work for with true commitment.

I. Conflict-mitigation is not the same as conflict-resolution itself. Mitigation implies that we focus on what can be done to facilitate conflict-resolution by people themselves.

II. We do not think that the steps proposed here are the only possible ones; we are trying to offer some guidance and systematic thinking about short- and longer term solutions in the hope to stimulate self-reflection, discussions and better ideas.

III. Only a rather complex scheme of conflict-resolution measures at various levels, carried out in good faith and with appropriate timing, stands a chance to achieve the result. No strategy that builds on individual or subjective goal maximization will be able to achieve all desirable goals; rather, all actors will be better off when going for optimization of goals and solutions.

IV. What, then, do we see as steps towards effective conflict-resolution? That almost all actors start to:
* Perceive the conflicts they are part of in new ways;
* Think in new ways about the conflict and its solutions and about their opponents, and – thus:
* Act in new ways.

We are well aware that this is easy to say but difficult to do. But it merits repetition: Continuing to perceive, think and act like we have described in in preceding chapters cannot but lead to situations that are worse for all. While this is being written (October 1991), Yugoslavia is further from any viable solution to its general problems and the special problems of each republic – not only because of the problems themselves but also because counterproductive conflict perceptions, attitudes and behaviour have systematically aggravated the original problems.

Here we outline some principles based on leading research in the field of conflict-resolution such Roger Fischer, Harvard Law School, and his associates William Ury and Scott Brown and Mark Juergensmeyer, University of California.

We believe the following principles are essential if conflict-resolution is what you really want:

1. Interests: Focus on interests, not positions.

Look at the substance of the conflict and the procedures for dealing with it; look at the importance of the relationship and identify why people perceive, think and act the way they do. Look at what it is you share with the other – apart from the fact that the conflict is important to you both? Conflicts are not just “their problem,” it’s yours, too, otherwise you would not take pains to go through it.

The fact is that what we want to achieve and how we choose to achieve it is much more important for conflict-resolution than where we “stand” on an issue. We say “I will not – never! – pay more than $ 50 for this bracelet!” in response to someone who wants us to pay $100 for it. Here both take a position and if they stick to it, there will be no deal.

Imagine, instead, that we ask ourselves about substance: Why is this bracelet important for us? What need does it satisfy? And what if we interview the seller about the same for him? We may then find out that, perhaps, we really need something else or – perhaps – that the seller asks an unrealistic price because he is in desperate need of money. If so, it could well be that we solve the matter by paying him the $ 50 and offering him a loan. Actually, in this case we not only solved a conflict but probably made friends, too!

2. People: Separate the people from the problem.

We heard it again an again in Yugoslavia: “But we have gone a long way, we did not create the problem to begin with, but they won’t listen. I am afraid that there is only war left now.” When asking politically responsible actors the question: “Do you think you could have done something else in the past, that you contributed to the problems, too?” – we got three types of answers: “What do you mean?” or “Well, perhaps, we did – but they were much worse” and “No, they are like that (unreliable, traitors, expansionist…) it is impossible!”

We tend to mix what problems are about and what actors do. Successively we get so involved that we believe that the opponent is the problem and forget what the original conflict was about. When that happens we tend to take step that will confirm the worst expectations with the other – who then, in response to what we did, will reciprocate and do exactly what we feared. Instead of trying to solve a problem together, we – and they – start escalating enemy images and concentrate on harming or humiliating the other. A host of new problems arise, the original problem finds no solution and together we make everything worse.

Instead, of course, we should remember that opponents are human beings first: Don’t look down upon someone because she or he holds a different opinion or interest from yours. Put yourself in their shoes. Don’t blame them for your problems. Try to act so that you do not confirm their negative image of you. Recognize and understand emotions. Listen well, speak about yourself, how you feel and what you need and want. Do not concentrate your energies on talking (bad) about them. Act to prevent things getting worse in a spiraling movement towards violence. Don’t just look back, identify future options.

It is important to see conflicts as a jumping-off ground for cooperation. You cannot solve a conflict with someone without cooperating, eventually, with him or her because the two of you share the interest in the conflict’s substance. Even deciding to not solve it or separate from each other requires an ability to agree, namely on the terms of separation and non-resolution.

3. Options: Generate a variety of possibilities before deciding what to do. Think through not only your own step but a series of steps and counter moves.

Ask yourself how the other perceive your act and judge about their next step in the light of that. Put the problem before your answers. Don’t compromise about essential interests, struggle to achieve a common understanding of truth and co-existence from which you both gain – or decide together on how to separate or live with the conflict unsettled. Invent options, expand the field all the time, don’t close off options and do your utmost to catch signals from the other.

Simple cease-fire arrangements will not help much, as we have seen already. If they are not part of a larger conflict-resolution and healing process they will, contrary to their very purpose, be exploited to prolong and intensify these traumatized images and vicious circles: “They, not we, broke the cease-fire…” To use a simple analogy, it will not help much to apply a plaster to a wound that has not been cleansed in advance.

And, have you really communicated not only what you intend to do but also why you do it – or did you try to surprise the other side and meet them with what you thought was a fait accompli?

4. Criteria: Insist that the result be based on some objective standard.

Pushing through your will only creates bad feelings or submissiveness or humiliation, it will not solve the problem you share. Solutions can only be found within through a search for objective, commonly agreed criteria. Reason and be open to reason and don’t yield to pressure or blackmailing – and don’t use that or bluff yourself.

5. Truth: There is your truth, their truth and probably a larger truth.

Mostly people seem to believe that when they are right, the others must be wrong. Of course, there are such cases, but usually it is pure self-deception. Conflict-resolution is about finding a larger truth together, seeing the opponents as a potential ally in solving a common problem. Conflicts separate people, but conflict actors are alike in the sense that they have the conflict in common, that something they both want is disputed, be it land, money, prestige, honour, or power.

Truth is the first victim in warfare. Lots of people we interviewed started saying: “You must understand the following…” or “Fact is that…” It usually meant, you must understand our truth. And our truth means a truth different from that of our opponents.

Conflict resolution is about finding a space – a larger truth, acceptable to both – in which both can live. A conflict is solved when the parties agree to a new distribution of values or a new set of values and find their role in realizing them together. Or – which is important – that they agree to live with the conflict because it can not be solved without making everybody worse off. Good conflict-resolution surely can also lead to divorce – but then a civilized one where the spouses can still meet and respect each other, don’t create problems for the children and lead their lives afterwards without bitterness.

6. Goals and means are one!

It doesn’t help to be a nice guy only. Any conflict actor will have to stick to a strategy and take precaution against being cheated. One basic element must be that the goals do not justify the means. One cannot build peace with the other through killing members of his family. One cannot remain trustworthy if one praises a principle when talking about what the other should do and then violates it in one’s own next step.

If we want peace and the other party does something bad, we should not excuse our own bad deeds by simply saying: That is only what they did to us! We should not let their bad deeds dictate what we do and draw us into vicious circles; rather, we should try to derive our actions and initiatives from our goals and interests and avoid harming the other in doing so.

Thus, when the other actually make a helpful move, we should not say: Aha, now he is weakening, let’s increase our demands and pressure. Rather, we should stick to principled action, take the opportunity to invite cooperation and revise our goals and means in the light of the new situation. That is, we should build confidence and successively enter “beneficial” circles with each other.

Conflict-resolution demands self-discipline, self-criticism and flexibility. The road to warfare is paved with exactly the opposite.

7. Stick to the principles and create your own strategy!

Fisher and associates have presented what they call the “Unconditionally Constructive Strategy” which goes like this:

Do only those things that are both good for the relationship and good for us, whether or not they reciprocate.

I. Even if they act emotionally, balance emotions with reason;
II. Even if they misunderstand you, try to understand them;
III. Even if they don’t listen, consult them before you do something that affects them;
IV. Even if they try to deceive you, neither trust them or deceive them, just be reliable;
V. Even if they try to coerce you, be open to persuasion and try to persuade them;
VI. Even if they reject us and show disrespect, accept them as worthy your consideration, care about them and be open to learning.

These guidelines have little to do with just being good. They deal with how to be effective. Generally speaking, this is the only strategy by which you will not be fooled by the other and not act in such a way as to fooling yourself. It is fundamentally different from just playing it “nice guy” and being cheated because one relies blindly on the other being fair.

Likewise, it is completely different from “an eye for an eye” which – as Mahatma Gandhi once said – will only one day make the whole blind. Revenge, doing to others what they do to us is no good, not safe and not efficient when a tough problem stand between us and must find a solution.

We would add that this strategy is also the only one that is reasonably ethical. It permits you to act according to your own principles, not through mirroring the more or less bad deeds of the other.

Imagine that your opponent does something “bad” or immoral. Are your ethics better when you simply reciprocate? If bombing is immoral or wrong in your view, your counter-bombing does not make you worthy of (self) respect – not even when you can truthfully say that the other committed the crime first. It is also inefficient since, if the other applies you standard, it is OK for him to bomb anew in response to your bombing and both parties are moved further away from a solution. Pursuing this type of strategy is a recipe for disaster.

8. Power is the ability to achieve one’s goals, not to punish others!

Some readers might interrupt here: “Well, isn’t all this a bit naive, are you not too idealistic? Politics is about power and it is also sometimes a quite dirty business!”
“There is some truth to this!” – we would say. “But if both parties follow some of these principles they and everybody will be better off. The alternative – violence, humiliation and warfare – draw us away from genuine conflict-resolution and peaceful co-existence. It is simply counterproductive, a sign that we are not good enough at conflict-resolution.

Remember that power is the ability to achieve one’s goals. All we are saying is that if the goal is peaceful co-existence, welfare, cultural diversity, democracy and all that, people can perceive, think, and behave in more productive ways that optimize the chances for everybody to achieve some of their goals.

If you think that realism is – or leads to – warfare, then what is your concept of realism and idealism and of conflict-resolution? Let’s continue this dialogue about underlying principles…” Our answer would be along these lines.

All of the Balkans is a conflict-dense area. But nobody should ignore the opportunities that can also be found there, the cultural richness, the intermediate position among several cultures in the Nort-South and East-West perspective.
Conflicts is nothing bad; it means that we are different and want to struggle for what we believe to be important. It means that we are alive and cherish pluralism rather than homogenization, standardization and uniformity.

The point is that some ways of perceiving conflicts, some attitudes towards opponents, some ways of thinking and behaving are dangerous, counterproductive and create enemies and, sometimes, hate. In most cases, it doesn’t have to be like that. Human and social development is possible only when we are different and meet challenges on our way, but we kill important potentials whenever we try to force “them” to be like “us” or do what we tell them to do whether or not they so want.
Unity in diversity is safer and more interesting than unity in uniformity.
We believe that good ideas, particularly about possible future cooperation and peaceful co-existence, can be a powerful tool in solving the differences between human beings because it employs constructive energy.

We cannot change the past, but we can learn to live with it. We can shape the future. This is what conflict-resolution and cooperation is all about.

Many other visions, more or less desirable, more or less realistic, can be imagined. The main point is that looking towards a common future and pinpointing what unites countries and peoples beyond petty-parochial differences tend to help us act in ways which are “unconditionally constructive,” to do things that are good for the single actor as well as for the relationships.

Crisis does not only imply pain and mourning. We, the authors of this conflict mitigation report, hope that the Yugoslavian crisis offers us all an opportunity think twice and successively concentrate less on the past and more on the future. The future of the Yugoslavian peoples and the rest of us.

Chapter 7
The aims and methods of the mission.

The TFF conflict-mitigation mission had the following aims:

1. Fact-finding – to find out three things, namely how many and different people define the conflicts, how they perceive themselves and others in the conflict and how they actually behave.

2. Conflict-mitigation – finding out what people think can be done in the short and longer run and identify who can help setting in motion a process that will, eventually, stand a fair chance to bring about true conflict-resolution.

3. Produce a report with our impressions and analyses written for the largest possible audience in Yugoslavia, Sweden and elsewhere in the international community.

So, where and when did we go?

The mission arrived to Yugoslavia on August 30 and spent five days interviewing people in Zagreb; it visited the war zone in Osijek and nearby villages on September 3. From there it went to Ljubljana and continued its work on the 6th and 7th. Next, it drove through Hungary to Belgrade where the mission ended its visit on the 14th of September. Our report concentrates, therefore, on the problems in and between Croatia, Slovenia and Serbia.

With whom did we talk?

The mission’s work at each place was planned in advance through various contact organizations and by consulting with experts on Yugoslavia in Sweden and in the country. It carried out 64 formal interviews – some with individuals, some with groups – ranging from 1 to 2 1/2 hours. This was supplemented with informal talks with citizens at cafés, taxi drivers, employees at various places, shop-owners, etc. But we also obtained interviews with people who were recommended for one reason or the other on the spot.

Our main criterion was to talk with as many people with different views and background as possible. Thus we interviewed ministers, presidential advisers, public officials, politicians, independent intellectuals, economists, political scientists, security experts, movement representatives, refugees, army personnel, police, journalists, lawyers, authors, mothers, medical doctors, actors, former polit bureau members, mayors, humanitarian aid relief personnel, bishops and guerrilla fighters – active and retired people, people right and left, ranging from the age of 15 to 80.
What is this report and what is it not?

There are no easy ways out in former Yugoslavia, and a mission like this does not pretend to see solutions to problems which the Yugoslavs themselves have not been able to solve for decades. We are also painfully aware that it is impossible to write a report which will not disappoint some of those we met – and probably others, too. However, the situation demands that we make our contribution, as totally independent observers, as honestly as we can and out of concern for the country and its people, many of whom are also our close friends and colleagues.

Our aim is conflict-mitigation – trying to point to factors that prevent solutions and propose steps that could help mitigate real conflict-resolution, sooner rather than later, by and for the Yugoslavs themselves.

In this sense our task is a modest one. We believe that there are certain things that should not be done – and should not have been done. More importantly, we are convinced that positive steps can still be taken to prevent catastrophe during the next few months and facilitate a slow recovery out of the crisis in the years to come.

Understandably, there is much “negative” energy in today’s Yugoslavia; few have the needed “positive” energy to think constructively and those who have often lack the power basis to make a difference.

Who were the members of the mission?
It consists of Marta Henricson-Cullberg, psychoanalyst and TFF board member; Sören Sommelius, author and cultural editor of Helsingborg Dagblad (Daily); Jan Øberg, peace and future researcher, director of TFF, and Carl-Ulrik Schierup, Department of Sociology, University of Umeå, an expert on Yugoslavia and its political and economic development.

We wrote this report together, but Schierup – who had just returned from Yugoslavia – did not participate in the field trip.

Three of us are not experts on Yugoslavia, but represent competences of importance for conflict mitigation. Our report represents a new type of research project; it is an attempt to make an informed contribution within very strict time limits, attending to the needs of the situation. No real doctor ignores the time perspective when dealing with a seriously ill patient.

It should be emphasized that our mission was conducted on the initiative of the Transnational Foundation for Peace and Future Research, TFF, and was supported financially by a research grant from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Stockholm. We have not acted on behalf of any party and the authors alone take responsibility for this report.

We want to thank everybody who helped us in Sweden, in Yugoslavia and elsewhere. One, however, stands out among them, Sandra Ostojic, who worked with unceasing energy as interpreter, translator and secretary. We also thank the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Stockholm for the grant which made the mission and this report – also to be published in Swedish – possible.

You will not agree with us on every point. Where you don’t, we hope our arguments will help you clarify your own standpoint and inspire your creativity rather than cause you to put the report aside. It is not a matter of being right or wrong on single points but – as in all dialogues and conflict-resolutions – searching for a space large enough to permit both to be somewhat right and somewhat wrong.

It goes without saying that we sincerely hope that this report can make a tiny but constructive contribution to betterment of the human condition in future Yugoslavia as well as in Slovenia and Croatia. We, the authors, and the TFF are willing to continue the dialogue with any individual and group there in the future.

Lund, Sweden
October 20,1991

PS We apologizes for the fact that, for technical reasons, all names have not been printed with correct apostrophes.
Furthermore we would like to acknowledge that the illustrations by Jugoslav Vlahovic, Novica Kocic and Milos Ilic have been reproduced from The International Weekly published by Politika. [Not included in this blog, editor].

Appendix 1
Some conflict-resolution techniques explained

Good offices
friendly assistance rendered by a third party for the purpose of bringing disputants together so that they may seek to reach a settlement;

direct discussion between disputants or their representatives;

occurs when the third party actively participates in the discussion of substantive issues and offers proposals for settlement;

Enquiry or inquiry
used when disputants are unable or unwilling to agree on points of fact relating to a controversy;

settling a dispute by referring it to a commission or a single conciliator, charged with examining the facts and recommending a solution that the parties are free to accept or reject;

disputants agree to submit a controversy to judges of their own choosing, who render a legally binding decision based on principles of (international) law;

Judicial settlement or adjudication
produces legally binding judgments, like arbitration, but the judges are not chosen by the parties but are members of a preconstituted international tribunal (such as the International Court of Justice).

activities such as supervising cease-fires, serving as buffers and keeping contending parties at a distance from each other.

activities such as negotiations, mediation, third party intervention, as mentioned above.

changing the structures and causes that lead to violent action in the first place – in the international system underlying socio-economic problems or structural violence built into the system which turns into manifest direct violence in wars.

the process of making incompatible values, interests and expectations compatible and deciding a satisfactory future distribution of values, interests and expectations so that the conflict never re-occurs.

Appendix 2
Suggested readings

Azar, Edward, E. 1986 “Protracted international conflicts: Ten propositions,” in Azar, E. E. and Burton, J. W. International Conflict Resolution, Wheatsheaf Books, Sussex

Canetti, Elias 1960 Masse und Macht. Classen Verlag, Dusseldorf

Carlson, Don and Craig Comstock (ed) 1986, Citizens Summitry. Keeping the Peace When It Matters Too Much to be Left to Politicians, St. Martin’s Press, New York

Fischer, Dietrich, Nolte, Wilhelm and Øberg, Jan 1989, Winning Peace, Crane Russak, New York

Fisher, Roger and Ury, William 1981, Getting to Yes. Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In, Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston

Fisher, Roger and Ury, William 1988, Getting Together. Building a Relationship That Gets to Yes, Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston

Freud, Sigmund 1921 Group psychology and the analysis of the ego, S.E. Vol. 18.

Fromm, Erich 1973 The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness, Fawcett, Greenwich

Greenstein, Fred 1975, Personality and Politics, W.W. Norton & Company, New York

Held, David and Pollitt, Christopher 1986, New Forms of Democracy, Sage Publications, London

Horowitz, Donald L. 1985 Ethnic Groups in Conflict. University of California Press, Berkeley

Juergensmeyer, Mark 1986, Fighting Fair. A Non-Violent Strategy for Resolving Everyday Conflicts, Harper & Row, San Francisco

Mack, John 1979 “Foreword” in Volcan, V. D., ed., Cyprus – War and Adaptation, University Press of Virginia, Charlottesville

Macfarlane, Leslie 1974 Violence and the State, Thomas Nelson and Sons, Ltd, London

McFarlane, Bruce 1988, Yugoslavia. Politics, Economics and Society, Pinter Publishers, London

Schierup, Carl-Ulrik 1990, Migration, Socialism and the International Division of Labour. The Yugoslavian Experience, Avebury, Aldershot

Singer, Peter 1974, Democracy and Disobedience, Oxford University Press, Oxford

Smith, Anthony 1986 “Conflict and collective identity: Class, ethnie and nation,” in Azar, E. E. and Burton, J. W., op.cit.

Stavenhagen, Rodolfo 1990, The Ethnic Question. Conflicts, Development, and Human Rights, United Nations University Press, Tokyo

Suter, Keith 1986, Alternative to War. Conflict Resolution and Peaceful Settlement of International Disputes, WILPF, Sydney

Transnational Foundation for Peace and Future Research 1991, TFF Statement V, A United Nations of the Future, Lund, Sweden

Volcan, Vamic 1991 “The psychology of the ‘chosen trauma’,” in Mind and Human Interaction, Vol. 3:3, p 13.

Wedge, Bryant 1986 “Psychology of the self in social conflict,” in Azar, E. E. and Burton, J.W., op.cit.

People we interviewed

In Croatia
Milorad Pupovac, Milan Djukic, Ante Beljo, Jovan Bamburac, Anto Kovacevic, five police officers and several militia people in Osijek, Zlatko Kramaric, fifteen refugees in Osijek, father Koksha, Branko Horvat, Mario Nobilo, Vjeran Katunaric, Dracen Nikolic, Drazenka Dobric, Slaven Letica, Majda Tafra-Vlahovic, Joza Vlahovic, Gordana Grbic, don Shivko Kustic, Radovan Vukadinovic, Hamm Stjepan, 4 commanders in Sarvas, Hotujac Ljubomir, Zlatko Pejic, Mirjana Frölich,

In Slovenia
D. Rupel, Anton Bebler, B. Cerar, Roman Kirn, G. Kosin, Marko Hren, Zmago Jelincic, Miran Bogataj, Marjan Kramar, Janez Sirse, Ciril Ribicic, Peter Bekes, Roman Lavtar, Maricio Olenik, Vika Potocnik, Tonci Jalusic,

In Serbia
Radmila Nakarada, Lidija R. Basta Posavec, Ivan Vejvoda, Alexander Prlja, Milan Komnenic, Sonja Licht, Mihailo Markovic, Milovan Djilas, Tanja Petovar, Kosta Mihailovic, Dobrica Cosic, Budimir Kosutic, Milan Nikolic, Miroslav Pecujlic, citizens at Terazijska cesma listening to alternative news and speeches, Jan af Selén and Örjan Landelius (Swedish Embassy),


  1. I’m reading this 24 years later. Alas, how it all ended! (But it’s great reading.)

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