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(E) Is Image Everything? American Stereotypes of Croatia
By Nenad N. Bach | Published  05/9/2005 | History | Unrated
(E) Is Image Everything? American Stereotypes of Croatia


Is Image Everything? American Stereotypes ofCroatia and Croatians.

Text for a Talk Delivered in Chicago on April 26, 2005.

James J. Sadkovich

Let me address two questions this evening:
1. Why does Croatia have such a bad image in the United States?
2. Why do Americans mourn the disappearance of Yugoslavia?

Mourning the Loss of Oz

To understand the second question takes us some way to understanding the first, so let me begin with it. If you have seen Evita, you may recall the refrain, “Don’t cry for me Argentina, the truth is I never left you, all through my wild days, my mad existence, I kept my promise; don't keep your distance.�
But few of us would sing a similar refrain for Yugoslavia. All of its leaders have now left, and few of its former citizens mourn its passing. Yet there is a certain nostalgia for Tito’s state, the former leader of the non-aligned nations, among intellectuals in both Yugoslavia and the United States, just as there is a lingering nostalgia among some Argentineans for Juan Perón. The sense of loss is palpable, similar to the disorientation that some subjects of the Dual Monarchy experienced after 1918 when Austria-Hungary also collapsed under the pressures of war. But it is unlikely that Yugoslavia can be reconstituted even as a loose regional confederation.
The nostalgia reflects support for the former Yugoslavia, whose passing was resisted by the international community as a whole and in particular by the United States. Through June 1991, American statesmen and diplomats did all they could to hold the Yugoslav state together, and during the rest of that year the American government refused to admit that Yugoslavia was falling apart, even after the Yugoslav Army and Serbian paramilitary forces had attacked Slovenia, carved up Croatia, and laid waste to the village of Ravno in Bosnia, where the Bosnian HDZ was founded. When the journalist Flora Lewis expressed her hope that Yugoslavia might yet be resurrected in some form, she was not alone.1 A golden era had passed, never to be reclaimed. All that remained were the nasty little successor states, greedy heirs to a noble ideal.

Paradigms Tend to Endure: Assigning Blame

Somebody must take the blame for this tragedy, but when American policy-makers, diplomats, and journalists finally admitted that Yugoslavia had collapsed, they did not point the finger only at Milosevic and the JNA; they joined Warren Zimmermann and Serbian spokesmen in blaming “Croatian insensitivity� to Serbian fears of a fascist, “Ustasa� revival as the root cause of the conflict. This explanation had already been much ballyhooed by the Serbian media and echoed by American journalists and pundits from the spring of 1990. So it was well established, whatever its actual explanatory value, and American academics adopted it as well. Indeed, many helped to promote it. Most Americans, both scholars and the general public, knew woefully little about Yugoslavia, but they knew what they considered to be fair. At the time, a colleague dismissed the whole business by expressing his thanks that Americans were not “like you people.� Since I was born in Milwaukee, it took a minute to get his meaning. What he was expressing was the concept of moral equivalency, projecting his own fears onto what Maria Todorova has defined as the Balkan “other.�2 He was also expressing a very crude version of the two dominant paradigms for grasping the wars that accompanied Yugoslavia’s dissolution—ancient hatreds and moral equivalency, both of which erased the distinction between victim and victimizer, aggressor and defender.
Another colleague recently told me that I was too harsh to blame Milosevic and the Serbs for the collapse of Yugoslavia and the wars that followed. “Don’t you think,� he said, “that is too much guilt for a single people to bear?� My answer was that I followed Michael Walzer, who argues that whoever starts a war, is primarily responsible for all that follows.3 Serbian leaders needed to bear as much guilt as they had earned. It was not a welcome reply, and not only because he felt badly for the Serbian people.
He had earlier asked me whether I really believed that Croatia was a democracy, given its treatment of its Serbian citizens. Like many in this country, he had imbibed and digested a one-sided view of Croatia, and precisely because he was not a specialist who kept up with events, he had no difficulty viewing Croatia as essentially fascist, despite the fact that the State Department and Freedom House rank Croatia as a democratic country, a bit behind Slovenia and the Czech Republic, but well ahead of Serbia and Bosnia.4 But reality was largely irrelevant because his paradigm, constructed over a decade ago, was still sufficient to categorize and explain everything that had happened and continues to happen in Croatia.5

Who Points the Finger?

Of course, he has had some help in this regard. Let me take as an example a book by James Gow, a well-respected British academic who has worked long and closely with the Prosecutor’s Office of the ICTY (International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia). Gow analyzes the “Serbian project� and “its adversaries,� but in the process he implies Serbians had a “legitimate� right to demand that they live in a single state, he argues that Serbian leaders did not wage a war of aggression, and he insists that because the actions of Serbian forces were based on military necessity, only military experts have the right to judge Serbian commanders. Gow devotes much of his section on Bosnia to Croatia’s alleged aggression against its Muslims, and he argues that Croats wanted Serbs to attack their towns in 1991 so they could enhance their “strategy of victimhood� and gain even more world sympathy. He also believes that the Serbian people should be praised for getting rid of Milosevic, who was solely to blame for all that went wrong. In effect, Gow treats Serbia as the protagonist in a Greek tragedy and the Croats as a nasty clutch of furies harassing both Serbs and Muslims, or in the words of an American diplomat, as so many “junkyard dogs.�6
Even though Slobodan Milosevic and Vuk Draskovic threatened war against Croatia in 1991, Gow sees Tudjman as equally “warlike� because he promised to defend his country against attack. His views would not matter if he was a Serbian propagandist; but Gow is one of the best known scholars on the Yugoslav wars and his book on the Serbian project is required reading for those interested in the conflicts. It is also a subtle attack on Tudjman’s government and the Croatian army. Indeed, Gow begins his analysis of Milosevic’s “project� to create a Greater Serbia by separating it from the “Serbian question,� which he considers legitimate. He also strives to save the reputation of the Serbian military by insisting that Croatian forces were both irrelevant and vicious in 1995; while NATO air power subdued the Serbs, Croatian soldiers slit the throats of old people.
Finally, Gow provides some wonderful examples of how to use prose to obscure, rather than clarify. Vukovar, he writes, was only the “focal point of a conflict in which local social-ethnic tensions had led to an upsurge of mutual hostility, a situation exacerbated by the insertion of paramilitary forces.� If I understand him correctly, abstract, impersonal forces destroyed Vukovar, not the JNA, which, as he explains, had only 40,000 troops and conscripts, none of whom were trained for street fighting, making it difficult for them to overcome the 1,500 Croats in the city. Instead, they shelled it for three months, killing many of its inhabitants and destroying most of its buildings, even though, if Gow is correct, the JNA was aiming at the buildings, not the civilians.

The First Law: Information in Circulation Tends to Stay in Circulation.
Full Circle—Ante Pavelic started the war; Tudjman rekindled it

And if the use of impersonal language begs the question of who started the wars, Gow provides what has become the classic, monocausal answer—only Serbs were slaughtered during World War II and in 1991 only Serbs remembered that slaughter and feared its recurrence. So the election of the HDZ in 1990 was the real cause of Yugoslavia’s collapse and the wars that followed.7 Put in simple terms, we could say this is the “Franjo-made-me-do-it� defense.

Do I think Gow is ill-intentioned? No. A Serbian propagandist? No. He has worked with the sources he has, and like all of us, he tends to echo them. The alternative would be to construct history out of our imaginations. My guess is that, like most of us, he has tended to discuss Yugoslavia with those who hold similar points of view. If so, then his views have been reinforced, not criticized. But the real problem is neither Gow nor those who share his point of view; the real problem is that those who support Serbia and Yugoslavia have done a much better job of getting their story out. And once something is in circulation, it stays in circulation. This “law� of permanent circulation is how atrocity propaganda tends to behave and why, like bad scholarship, it is so difficult to correct.8 It is repeated so often, it becomes ubiquitous; it is conventional wisdom.
The tendency of information to stay in circulation in some form also explains the cliche that “any publicity is good publicity.� For example, if you key in, you will still find Nova ustaska drzava? Od Ante Starcevica do Pavelica i Tudjmana, by Petar Dzadzic, published by Politika in 1991. If you search JSTOR and you will also find writers who lament the death of Yugoslavia at the hands of Croatian nationalists, among them Bogdan Denitch, Robert Hayden, Alex Dragnich, and Bette Denich.9 This is also the case in both public and academic libraries, whose shelves hold volumes by Misha Glenny, Gale Stokes, Robert Hayden, Bogdan Denitch, and a host of others who reinforce Serbian interpretations of Yugoslav history directly or indirectly through their support of Yugoslavia and their suspicion of Croatia.

But let me return to the question of what is available to English readers later.

Why Cry for Yugoslavia and Not Argentina?

First, I should answer the question of why so many people wax so nostalgic over a former multinational communist state. People do not get teary-eyed over the demise of the USSR or Czechoslovakia or Austria-Hungary or the Ottoman, British, French, Spanish, Dutch, and Portuguese empires. Why Yugoslavia? The answer is complex and deserves a more extensive discussion than I can manage here, but let me suggest a few reasons that Yugoslavia is lamented.

1. Yugoslavia appeared to be a viable alternative to the polar extremes of the Cold War; it was neither a hard-line, command-economy communist state nor a laissez-faire, to hell-with-the-poor capitalist state. Self-management, like the Yugoslav League of Communists, seemed to put a human face on communism, and Tito, hand-in-hand with Nehru, offered hope to a despairing world that expected nuclear holocaust on a daily basis. At the same time, as Ivo Banac notes, American academics echoed the party line regarding both the virtues of self-management and the positive aspects of Tito’s regime, especially after Rankovic was removed in 1966 and the SFRJ adopted a truly “federalist� constitution in 1974.10

2. Yugoslavia also seemed to be a viable model for debalkanizing the Balkans. Unlike Bulgaria, which persecuted its Turkish citizens under Zhivkov, or Romania, where Hungarians formed a disaffected minority prior to 1989, or Greece, with its hard-line colonels and its rather rigid Orthodox outlook on nationality, or Albania, with its pillboxes and poverty, Yugoslavia offered bratstvo i jedinstvo, and if Donia and Fine are to be believed, Tito’s regime turned even Bosnia-Herzegovina into a multi-cultural paradise where tolerance and brotherhood flourished.
3. Finally, Yugoslavia was around for a long time and it was associated with the liberation of oppressed peoples after both world wars. During its existence, it served a variety of functions, from strategic and ideological buffer between East and West to damper on the potentially troublesome national identities of its diverse peoples, to scholarly model for a successful socialist state.

In short, to paraphrase Voltaire, Yugoslavia was a necessary fiction. Had it not existed, we would have had to create it.

Croatians Destroyed the Great Hope of the World

So the first, partial answer to the question of why Croats have such a bad press in this country is that they destroyed Yugoslavia, the great hope of the world, the shining example to other backward, Balkan peoples, the socialist alternative to capitalism, and only truly successful supranational state. And that was a capital offense, punishable by war and ethnic cleansing.

Of course, you may argue that Slobodan Milosevic really destroyed Yugoslavia, or that Milan Kucan pushed Franjo Tudjman to embrace independence when all he really wanted was sovereignty within a loose South Slav confederation (at least that is what he said he wanted from sometime in the late 1960s through August 1991). But that is not how people in the United States, and the West in general, see things. For them, Tudjman was the great destroyer, and as Croatia’s president, he was also a symbol for Croatia, and Croatians are guilty of Yugoslavia’s demise by association, and by the fact that they elected him. Fair or not, that is how people here see things.

Or Was It Just a Contrived Country?

If you read the American media or test its scholarly waters, you will find few to agree with Ivo Banac who wrote in 1991 that, “Only an untrained or complacent observer could see something permanent in such a contrived country.�11 But you would find many people like Dennison Rusinow (a much more influential figure than Banac in DC’s policy circle and among American academics), who in 1991 wrote an article for Foreign Affairs in which he urged the United States to give Yugoslav unity “unconditional support� because not to do so risked war and would have been unfair to Yugoslavia’s Serbs, 24 percent of whom lived outside of Serbia and to its Croats, 22 percent of whom lived outside Croatia (not counting the emigrants abroad, whom only Tudjman tended to count).12
Rusinow’s argument is interesting and helped to establish the equation of moral equivalency that can be seen in most of the writing on Yugoslavia’s breakup, with Tudjman, Croatia, and Croatians defined as equivalents to Milosevic, Serbia, and Serbians. As Warren Zimmermann put it, Tudjman and Milosevic were the “Tweedledum and Tweedledee of destructive nationalism.�13
To some extent, this equation has deep historical roots, but to some extent it is recent. For example, Nikola Pasic, was depicted as the wily Serbian politician, Stjepan Radic as the erratic Croatian demagogue; Serbs were portrayed as state-building and the core people of the Yugoslav state, but Croats as obstructionist and separatist, seeking to destroy Yugoslavia.14 However, the image varied, depending on the extent of the crisis in Yugoslavia. So in 1982, as events in Kosovo began to threaten a full-blown crisis, Gale Stokes, a very influential scholar from Rice University, essentially agreed with all the points that Tudjman raised in his work on nationalism. However, he cautioned against resolving Yugoslavia’s “national problem� by breaking up the federation because the cost of creating and maintaining it had been so great.15 Dissolution was simply unthinkable. Yugoslavia existed and, by God, we were going to make it work. As Stephen Larrabee cautioned in an essay published in International Security in 1990, the “only viable solution in the long run� was “a loose confederation.�16

The Second Law: Monocausal Explanations Tend to Trump Complex Analysis
(Croatian) Nationalism Invites Chaos, Suffering, and Income Gaps

And all of these analysts were right, of course. Breaking up Yugoslavia caused great suffering. Worse, nationalism, and Croatian nationalism in particular, first broke up Yugoslavia, then failed to benefit the “masses� who fought and died (and killed) to create the successor states. According to Bruno Dallago and Milica Uvalic, Tudjman’s government not only deprived Croatia’s Serbs of their national status and their “rights,� it used “nationalist� privatization to expropriate state property and redistribute it to a nationalist elite, or rather Tudjman’s cronies. As a result the wage gap in Croatia rose from 1 to 10 during the 1980s to 1 to 67 by 1993. Of course, as they note in passing, pretty much the same thing happened in Serbia.17
Indeed, pretty much the same thing happened everywhere that capitalism replaced socialism in Eastern Europe and the former USSR. What is surprising is that people were surprised that it did so, although it is less surprising that they blamed the new inequities on nationalism, not capitalism. As Nancy Birdsall noted in a Foreign Policy essay, “life is unfair� pretty much everywhere now, with globalization pushing the pace at which the income gap widens between rich and poor within countries throughout the world.18 The gap is no longer between East and West or between North and South, so much as it is between the top 20 percent and all the rest.19 Once you leave the worker’s paradise and enter the marketplace, it’s a hard, cold world out there.
In fact, Croatia actually did a bit better than Romania or Poland in giving its poorest citizens a larger slice of the economic pie, even under Tudjman. But if the bottom 20 percent were getting 8.8 percent of the national income in 2002, the top 20 percent got a whopping 38 percent—and that did seem unfair.20 As it turned out, civil society without social justice was not exactly a boon for most citizens of the former Yugoslavia. Indeed, if Croatia continues to westernize and Caroline Persell is correct, Croatians have an even more inequitable future in store, given that in 1989, the top 1 percent of U.S. households controlled 39 percent of the household wealth and the top 20 percent kept 99 percent of the added wealth during the1980s, and that wage gaps here run on the order of one to a thousand.21 But those who commented on Croatia did not blame the shift to capitalism or the global economy; they blamed Tudjman and the corruption of the HDZ.

That there was corruption is undeniable; the question is how much was corruption in a criminal sense, and how much the usual cronyism, networking, nepotism, and corner-cutting found in every society, capitalist or socialist. Much of what was labeled corruption appears to have been something else, more mundane if not more benign.22
The tendency to attribute all misfortune to a single source provides yet another partial answer to why Croatia’s image is so bad. Tudjman and Croatian nationalism as embodied in the HDZ and the Republic of Croatia could be made to take the blame for absolutely anything, even privatization, which the United States and the free world pressed on hapless Eastern European peoples. So it was possible to blame Tudjman, the HDZ, and the Croatians who had voted for them, for increasingly inequitable income gaps, unemployment, nepotism, shady business deals, and other evils that are inherent in capitalist economic systems and that are part and parcel of the flawed nature of human beings. The human condition has always had its tragic side, but Tudman and Croatians are no more responsible for this than other individuals and nationalities.

The Third Law: Models Tend to Trump Reality
Croatia as an Imaginary Construct

But then, Croatia did not really exist. It was a nationalist construct according to those scholars who unwittingly echoed Vuk Karadzic and a century of Serbian nationalists. For example, Nick Ceh and Jeff Harder deploy the fashionable jargon of anthropology and literary criticism to argue that Croatians first “constructed� a state, then justified it by “elevating� a “regional dialect� to the status of a language and distancing themselves from their Serbian cousins by constructing the Serb as “the Balkan other.�23 If their view was idiosyncratic, it could be easily dismissed, but it is shared by Robert Greenberg, whose book on warring dialects bears an Oxford imprint. The belief that Croatian is a recent, artificial construct ignores both history and the discipline of sociolinguistics, but it fits nicely with Serbian claims that Serbo-Croatian is a single language, and it reinforces the accusation by Bette Denich that Tudjman imposed Ante Pavelic’s vocabulary on contemporary Croatia.24

Democratic Serbia, Fascist Croatia

This indentification of leader and people did not happen, please note, in Serbia. The U.S. media has covered Serbia in a very different manner than it has Croatia. While it took a while to switch from admiring Milosevic and Mladic as forceful leaders, it consistently depicted the Serbian people as basically democratic.25 Croats, on the other hand, were tainted by “their Nazi-stained past.�26
This is a crucial distinction—democratic Serbia and fascist Croatia. While many scholars, pundits, journalists, and politicians claim to oppose Tudjman and Croatia because they oppose nationalism, in reality they did not oppose “Yugoslav� nationalism; nor do they condemn Serbian nationalism, merely its excesses. Serbian nationalism is seen as a defensive reaction to the threat posed by Croatian nationalism, which they oppose in all its variations.

Why the difference? In large part, because people simply do not know much about Croatia and Croatians, and what they do know is generally negative. Let me just hit the low points.

• Josip Jelacic and Croatian troops were to blame for the suppression of the revolutions of 1848 in Budapest, Prague, Italy, and Vienna.27
• Croats were loyal subjects of Austria-Hungary and fought the Entente in the Great War and persecuted Serbs in the occupied territories, especially in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
• Croats did their best to obstruct the smooth functioning of the first Yugoslavia between 1918 and 1939, forcing King Alexander to impose a dictatorship in order to preserve Yugoslavia.
• Croats insisted on annexing large areas of Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1939 so they could create a Banovina, the same Banovina Tudjman wanted to resurrect in 1991, with no regard for the sensibilities of Bosnia’s Muslims.
• Ante Pavelic and the Ustasa led a quisling Independent State of Croatia between 1941 and 1945 that sought to eradicate its Serbian population by converting a third, expelling a third, and killing a third. The Ustasa also sought to kill off all Jews and Gypsies in Croatia.
• Tito and the Partisans, most of whom were Serbian, overthrew Pavelic’s state and saved many Serbs, but only after up to a million had been brutally murdered at Jasenovac. Hundreds of thousands were murdered elsewhere by Croatian forces who fought the Partisans and took refuge in Austria, Argentina, and Los Angeles after 1945.
•Unlike the Prague Spring, which was led by democratic reformers, the Croatian Spring was the work, in Joseph Rothschild’s words, of “emphatically centrifugal, ethnonationalistic, explicitly anti-Serb, and implicitly anti-Yugoslav crypto-separatist nonparty forces.�28
• Franjo Tudjman was a leader of the Croatian Spring and a dangerous Croatian nationalist who hoped to create a Great Croatia, denied Croatia’s Serbs their basic human rights and persecuted them mercilessly, and created an authoritarian state in which ethnic cleansing was common. Tudjman was also guilty of leading, in Carlo del Ponte’s words, “a criminal conspiracy� against Bosnia’s Muslim citizens.29

This is pretty heady stuff. Where does it all come from?
I only ask because most of it is either patently false or grossly exaggerated. At most, there is a kernel of truth in each of these characterizations.

The Media Marketplace:

One place is the media marketplace.

If you punch up “Croatia� on, you will get 719 hits. But this is somewhat misleading, because these are not books about history or politics or society or culture. No, 23 of the first 30 are guidebooks, and 2 are business manuals. In the first 100 titles, there are only four surveys of Croatian history—by Ivo Goldstein, Marcus Tanner, Zoran Pavlovic, and Ivo Omrcanin. You will also find the collection of essays dealing with the war in Croatia edited by Branka Magas and Ivo ®anic, a excellent work, but an anomaly.
At number 43, you will find Edmond Paris, Genocide in Satellite Croatia, a vicious attack on Croatia and the Catholic Church; at number 53, The People, Press, and Politics of Croatia (Westport, Conn.: Praeger, 2001) by Stjepan Malovic and Gary W. Selnow, who mount an unrelenting attack on Franjo Tudjman and his government; at number 60, Balkan Express by Slavenka Drakulic, whom Ivo Banac described as “a bourgeois lady writer with a computer looking for dog food,� all the while displaying “a studied ignorance of history.�30
Aside from Omrcanin and Magas and ®anic, there is a distinct paucity of Croatians and Croatian Americans. Snezana Trfunovska writes on minorities (no. 41).
There is also a paucity of information about Croatia, and if you are looking for something on World War II, you are stuck with Paris, hardly a happy outcome for Croatia’s image!
If you want the ten best and ten worst books, you will be referred to Ivo Goldstein, Alex Dragnich, and Michael Parenti, two of whom are viscerally anti-Croatian.31
Nor is there more information about Franjo Tudjman (11 hits), although 3 of the 11 hits are works by the former president (Horrors of War, Nationalism, and Genocide and Yugoslavia), but they appear at numbers 9 through 11; number 2 is an article by Gordana Uzelak, who portrays Tudjman as an authoritarian personality. She believes that he sought to “justify� the NDH and explain “historical events . . . in a way that justifies present events,� and that he “sees the Croatian nation� as “Ein Reich, Ein volk [sic], Ein Fuehrer,� her words, not his.32
Nor do Ante Starcevic and Stjepan Radic, both critical figures in Croatian history, do better. Each gets 7 hits, but of these only one is in English, Mark Biondich’s not altogether flattering political biography of Radic.33
Ante Pavelic gets 9 hits, not a good sign, because Milan Nedic, in many ways his Serbian counterpart, gets only 2! Of Pavelic’s hits, all but three are his own writings and, of course, in Croatian; of the three works about him, one is distinctly negative, and really about Tudjman, Dzadzic’s Nova ustaska drzava? There was one hit for Dimitrije Ljotic, Light of truth: Selected philosophical, moral, and political ideas of Dimitrije Ljotic (Lazarica Press, 1986).
Milosevic, I should note in passing, results in 247 hits on, including biographies by Adam Lebor (Milosevic, A Biography, New Haven, Conn.: Yale, 2004), Dusko Doder and Louise Branson (Milosevic, Portrait of a Tyrant, New York, Free Press, 1999), Lenard Cohen (Serpent in the Bosom. The Rise and Fall of Slobodan Milosevic, Boulder, Westview, 2002), and Louis Sell (Slobodan Milosevic and the Destruction of Yugoslavia, Durhan, N.C.: Duke, 2002)—all major presses and works that are familiar to policy makers in D.C. But before you rejoice because Milosevic is so roundly condemned, consider that he is blamed for all the wrongs of the 1990s—now that he is gone, Serbia is again democratic, despite the fact that ©eselj’s party took roughly a third of the vote recently. But Croatia remains in the grips of the HDZ.

The Scholarly and Foreign Policy Marketplace: JSTOR

As you may have noticed, three of the four titles I noted on Milosevic were published by major university presses, and is indeed used by both serious scholars and the curious general reader. JSTOR, on the other hand, is primarily a scholarly resource, used to search for articles in “serious� journal, including Foreign Affairs and Foreign Policy. So it is a rough indicator of what scholars and policy makers had read prior to 2000, given that it has both journal articles and reviews of books and is a few years behind in its entries.
A quick search for Jasenovac got 22 hits, with Better Denich’s “Dismembering Yugoslavia: Nationalist Ideologies and the Symbolic Revival of Genocide,� American Ethnologist 21 (May 1994) 2: 367–90 topping the list. Now Denich’s work is subtle, but it is as pro-Serbian and anti-Croatian as you can get, and she reached a sizeable and influential audience through American Ethnologist.34

Also on the list of 22 is a piece by Cvijeto Job, a retired Yugoslav diplomat and columnist for Vreme, “Yugoslavia’s Ethnic Furies,� Foreign Policy 92 (Autumn 1993), 52–74, in which he reports that Goren Ivanisevic, while trying out a machine gun in Australia, quipped that it was a pity no Serbs were on the shooting range. According to Job, “Croat intellectuals� refused to “face up� to the genocide committed by the NDH and like “anti-Semitic revisionists� everywhere, they are “reactionary.� Job is among those who think Croats should apologize for Jelacic’s suppression of the revolutionary movements of 1848. But then, as Job notes, Croats suffer from having “a chauvinistic culture.� Please not this was published in Foreign Policy, the poor cousin of Foreign Affairs, but a very influential policy journal. This is the only piece listed by Job on JSTOR; he is not a scholar nor a frequent contributor to scholarly or policy journals, so this piece was written appears to have been written for the express purpose of presenting a “Yugoslav� point of view that is exquisitely anti-Croatian.
The sheer quantity of references to Serbia on JSTOR is impressive—5,946 hits, as opposed to 1,737 for Croatia. Again, Milosevic, with 248/533 hits, dominates Tudjman, with 4/11, and even the Chetnik/s with 95/174 do better than the Ustasa, with 36. If you scroll the talks sponsored by the SE Europe division at the Wood Wilson Center over the past six years, you will find few deal with Croatia, but a great many deal with Yugoslavia and Serbia and Kosova. This is not all bad, because many of the speakers are highly critical of Serbia. But, again, Serbia takes center stage, people discuss it, Serbs are the protagonists; Croatia is in the wings, and Croatians simply extras in the Balkan passion play. Even Gow lumped them together with the “adversaries� of the Serbian project.
You will also find Robert Hayden, a University of Pittsburgh professor, on JSTOR. Hayden has the distinction of having published three articles in Slavic Review in four years. To most of you, this may not seem like a big deal, but getting even one article in the organ of the AAASS is difficult, much less three, and all of them within a four-year period. If you know how long it takes to get an article accepted, this is quite impressive.35 Hayden also contributed, like Denich, to the American Ethnologist.36 Hayden and his wife are very sophisticated; they employ the latest theoretical weapons in the scholarly arsenal, especially the concept of “constructing� the “other� elaborated by Edward Said and Maria Todorova, and echoed by Ceh and Harder (above), but they do not seem to do so to explain; they appear to do so to condemn nationalism in general and Croatian nationalism in particular as retrograde and vicious.

The Fourth Law: Quantity Tends to Count More Than Coherent Argument
(Sites of Power—Articles vs. Letters)

Again, it is difficult to gauge the extent of the damage done by these articles, but it would be foolish to underestimate the influence they have on members of the academic community, both professors and students. And it is important to understand that quantity and repetition, not rational argument, count in academic and public policy publications, just as they do in the popular media. It is also important to realize that even when someone does manage to challenge an author, he is usually relegated to the “letters� section and then sliced and diced by the author who has been challenged. This, indeed, is exactly what Slavic Review allowed Hayden to do to Anto Knezevic in 1993.37 It would be an illusion to imagine that there is real debate within academe; there are only competing camps who do or do not control major journals and access to major presses. Journals tend to validate the paradigm of a particular, usually dominant, camp; the letters section is the site where authors and editors assert their power over readers who dissent.38

The Balkan “Other� and Slovenia

The concept of “other� as formulated by Todorova and Said belong to the genre of literary theories; they are not political theories and certainly not historical methodologies. Indeed, the whole concept of a Balkanist discourse in which the West constructs the “other� is a profoundly ahistorical approach to analysis that assumes perception always trumps reality. As Patrick Patterson notes, Maria Todorova effectively views “marking out� as a “guilty� act and refuses to accept a people’s own image of itself if it involves seeing others as different. Although Todorova excluded the Slovenes, but not the Croats, from the Balkans, Patterson argues that the Slovenes used the Balkanist discourse to distance themselves from the former Yugoslavia and position themselves as Central Europeans, a ploy attempted by Tudjman with much less success. Yet the Slovene scholar, Dmitrij Rupel, not only dismisses the Balkans as “a corrupt and primitive society,� he believes that Croatia shares the intellectual, artistic, political, and social affinities of the Habsburg empire with Slovenes, Czechs, Slovaks, and Hungarians. But political realities are not linguistic conventions, and Patterson is correct to remind us that most Slovene criticism focused on the concept of Slovenstvo, the question of Slovene autonomy, and the inseparability of the political and the ethno-national.39 In short, political realities—how a people and its leaders view themselves, the congruence of state and nation/politics and national identity, the ability to govern oneself—exist and must be considered, not condemned.
This is what Tudjman and the HDZ attempted, but they failed, in large part because their image was considerably worse than the reality of their government, particularly in the 1990–91 period. In this regard, it is worth noting Sarah Kent’s comment that as late as 1997, “specialists� were still arguing over the facts, not just the interpretations.40 They still do so, but a concerted campaign by Serbian spokesmen, members of the former regime, and journalists and academics whose contacts tended to be among these two groups created and then reinforced an extremely negative image of both Tudjman and his party. At times the propaganda and distortion were blatant, e.g., Robert Kaplan’s articles for The New Republic; at others, cloaked in academic or legalist arguments, e.g., the effort to identify the contemporary Croatian state with the NDH or arguments that self-determination was a right of Croatia’s Serbs denied by Tudjman’s government and the premature recognition of Croatia in 1992.41
You can divide scholars into schools, or perhaps camps, and Hayden belongs in the pro-Yugoslav, pro-Serbian, anti-Croatian camp. He praises Susan Woodward’s book as of “superb quality� and praises Misha Glenny. However, he finds Robert Kaplan a bit lowbrow—too much the journalist. In their review of books on the wars in Yugoslavia,42 John Lampe, Gale Stokes, Julie Mostov, and the late Dennison Rusinow put only four books on their “short list of required reading on the Yugoslav crisis�—Bennett,43 Cohen,44 Woodward,45 and Silber and Little.46 The ICTY also likes Silber and Little, as well as Donia and Fine. Personally, I consider two of these works useful (Bennett and Silber and Little) and three as misleading (Cohen, Woodward, and Donia and Fine). I would tend to recommend Sabrina Ramet, Branka Magas, and Lukic and Lynch on Yugoslavia’s breakup; Magas and ®anic on the war in Croatia; and Norman Cigar on the Bosnian conflict.47 There are a number of good works in print; they are just outnumbered by those that are less good.

Sources & Cribs for Amateurs, Insiders, and Professionals

Why does any of this matter? Because when a journalist or a policy-maker or a D.C. staffer of a high-school student or an undergrad under pressure to write something on the Balkans or a professor who is not an expert on Southeastern Europe but needs a quick crib for a lecture—when any of these people goes looking for information, they will find a wealth of material on Milosevic, some critical, some sympathetic, but almost nothing usable on Tudjman except Uzelak’s very negative portrait of Croatia’s first president.
And be assured, most people do not bother with time-consuming research. They take what is handy and make do with it. Businessmen, academics, and others who are “insiders� do not much bother with research outside their special interests, and many government insiders and journalists do little to no research at all. As Ivo Banac noted in his review of Misha Glenny’s enormously popular work on the wars in Yugoslavia, the “written word� was missing. Glenny had not read anything. “As a consummate insider,� Banac noted, “he does not read; he converses.�48
One could say the same of Robert Kaplan, who did incredible harm to Croatia’s image with his book, Balkan Ghosts, and his articles in the New Republic. What is stunning about Kaplan’s articles, which blasted Tudjman as an anti-Semite, is that he had not read any of Tudjman’s works; instead, he had read a selection of translated excerpts apparently prepared somewhere in Serbia. This is disturbing enough. Even more disturbing was his defense—he had, he noted, effectively met professional standards, since his colleagues had also read the same ten-page excerpt.
This is the problem, then; these folks talk to one another and to a select group of academics and scholars (not always the same thing, given think tanks, government programs, consulting firms, et al.). But they do not read. Or if they do, like Reagan and Bush, they prefer film strips or bite-sized excerpts. I will not even pretend to offer a solution to this problem, which has to do with larger cultural issues, but it is, I think, clear that the more information about Croatia that is available, the better. Otherwise, ten-page summaries prepared in Serbia and Edmond Paris and Robert Kaplan will continue to determine what is now called the “dominant narrative.�

The Fifth Law: The Dead Weight of Convention Tends to Stifle Diversity
Belgrade Syndrome

But where are the Croatian historians and scholars who must write these works? Where are the translators?
Where are the mass of Croats who are interested in buying these things?
Why do Serbs dominate?
There are a number of answers to these questions, none of them satisfactory.

1. Because South Slav studies was a backwater and Belgrade was the Mecca for those who wanted to study Yugoslavia. It is sobering to recall that prior to 1989, nobody cared much about Yugoslav studies, even if they cared about Yugoslavia.49 More, the only jobs in Yugoslav studies tended to be in the social sciences or literature, and then for those who toed the party line, not for Croat nationalists—although Serbian nationalists posing as Yugoslavs were always welcome. If you ran afoul of one of the Yugoslav gatekeepers, you simply did not get a decent job, if you got a job.
2. Among the gatekeepers were Barbara and Charles Jelavich at Indiana; Michael Boro Petrovich at Wisconsin; and Alex Dragnich at Rutgers. The University of Washington had Peter Sugar and Sabrina Ramet; Stanford had Wayne Vucinich.50 Carole Rogel taught at Ohio State. Marijan and Eleanor Despalatovic were at Connecticut College and Ivo Banac at Yale, but neither created a core of Croatian-American scholars. Much more effective were Gale Stokes (Rice) and John Lampe (Maryland), who shepherded young scholars along at the Woodrow Wilson Center, as did the late Dennison Rusinow at Carnegie Mellon. Slavic Studies were dominated by Russian history and literature, and Yugoslav studies were a poor sister, focused on such topics as self-management and the creation and maintenance of the Yugoslav state.
If I were to list “Croatian� scholars in the U.S., I could almost do so on one hand. Most have taught at smaller, less prestigious institutions and they have published in smaller, less prestigious journals. What I am suggesting is not a conspiracy, just the dead weight of convention, which privileged Russian and Yugoslav studies, and to the extent Serbs were seen as the “core� people of the Yugoslav state, Serbian interpretations of history, sociology, culture, linguistics, literature, and anthropology.

3. Also critical is what I call the Belgrade syndrome. Because Belgrade was the federal capital, it was also the repository of most of Yugoslavia’s archives and the place where journalists, diplomats, and businessmen congregated. Zagreb, like Skopje and Sarajevo, was a backwater. It had a smaller airport, less expensive restaurants, and fewer nightclubs than Belgrade. Where would you rather have been—assuming you were not a covert Croat nationalist?
The point is that where you do your research, where you work (e.g., the American embassy or the Yugoslav headquarters of a multinational), and where you hang out tend to determine who you meet, what you learn, and how you see the world. Spending time in Belgrade, learning cirilica, talking with Serbian scholars and journalists and ordinary, salt-of-the-earth Serbs was bound to have its effect. This is clear from Zimmermann’s memoirs—he admired Serbs because he knew almost no Croats. Serbs drove his car, cooked his meals, and told him about how Croats had killed their relatives during World War II.

4. Then there is Serbian solidarity and the almost total lack of Croatian solidarity. This is subtle, hard to pin down, but obvious. If you go on-line, you will find that Serbs hang together in chat rooms, they form packs, they come after you. If you live in Milwaukee or Chicago, I am sure you have noticed that Serbs tend to be better organized. Croats, generally, are not.
Croats are also decidedly apolitical, if not apathetic. The CFU is deliberately apolitical, largely the result of its history, but its neutrality was an enormous drawback for Croats in this country. Catholic churches also tend to be apolitical, and as Catholics, Croats have tended to intermarry and leave their national neighborhoods. Serbians, like Armenian and Greeks, tend to stay closer to home, even when they move to the suburbs.
I am tempted to ask, “Where are the chairs in Croatian history?� But that is not the point; there are no chairs in Serbian history. It would be nice to have a few endowed chairs in Croatian history, because that would guarantee that scholarly attention is paid to the country. But perhaps for now we should be simply asking, “Where are the scholars who have studied in Croatia and formed friendships there and learned at least to consider the Croatian point of view?�
Where are the scholarships and grants for people to study in Croatia? I will not even bother to ask if there are any Croatian organizations in the U.S. with a full-time research staff. If there are, they are a well-kept secret. Is there too little money for these things or do Croats, as I suspect, integrate more quickly into American society, thanks in part to the fact that, unlike Serbs, they can intermarry easily with other Catholics and so do not hold their nationality as closely?

By now, it should be clear why I think Croatia’s image has suffered.—Croats have not managed to overcome almost 150 years of neglect in publishing their “national narrative� in English. Worse, when they have published in English, they have tended to a bit shrill; I myself suffer from this complex. It is the inevitable syndrom of somebody whose point of view is politely, but firmly, ignored by those in power. Finally, much of what is published is policy driven, and the result is that it is inevitably flawed because the people who do these studies talk to or work for insiders who repeat the conventional wisdom, or they relay on public opinion polls, which are ephemeral snapshots of a fleeting popular mood. They are all ahistorical, when they are not downright anti-historical.
But Croatian historians in Croatia are just getting around to undoing decades of Yugoslav historiography, so it is not surprising that American scholars have only begun to do so.51
I offer no solutions other than a slow, patient, publication of solid works of history and politics and sociology on Croatia and its role in Yugoslavia and Austria-Hungary and the Balkans. In time, that is what will change Croatia’s image by providing the basic materials in English that will shape the opinions of students, scholars, journalists, pundits, policy-makers, politicians, and that ubiquitous, if hard to find, general reader.
Having said all this, I am not sure that Croatia’s image is any longer that important. Freedom House now rates Croatia as fully democratic, if still not up to Slovenia’s standards, and Croatia will undoubtedly find its way into the EU over the next decade, even with its Nazi-stained past. Once that happens, it will have the right to a Le Pen or a Haider, and no one will bat an eyelash, so long as the trams run on time and Siemens can go about its business with good corporate laws on the books.

1 Flora Lewis, “Reassembling Yugoslavia,� Foreign Policy 98 (September 1995): 132–44.
2 Maria Todorova, “The Balkans: From Discovery to Invention,� Slavic Review 53 (Summer 1994) 2: 453–82.
3 Michael Walzer, Just and Unjust Wars: A Moral Argument with Historical Illustrations (New York:� Basic Books, 1977).
4 Both State Department and Freedom House reports can be access on line at and Also see Adrian Karatnycky, et al., eds., Nations in Transit. Civil Society, Democracy and Markets in East Central Europe and the Nearby Independent States (Freedom House, 1999) Freedom House evaluations of the countries from the Czech Republic and Slovakia through Albania, Macedonia, and Bulgaria suggest that the tendency has been toward polities with established systems of political liberties and increasingly healthy civil societies. Indeed, the pace of democratization seems to have accelerated over the past six years. In 1998, only one of ten states in this area had a combined rating under two—the Czech Republic. Macedonia, Romania, and Slovakia were over 3.0 and Bulgaria just under. Even that exemplar of South Slavic success, Slovenia, was only at a 2.0, still better than Croatia’s rating of 4.25 or Albania’s 4.5. Serbia/Montenegro (Yugoslavia) and Bosnia-Herzegovina lagged even further behind with ratings of 5.0. But in 2003, Slovenia rated a 1 in both Political Rights and Civil Liberties. The Czech Republic, Bulgaria, and Slovakia were even with Hungary, earning a 1 for Political Rights and a 2 for Civil Liberties. Croatia and Romania earned a 2 in both categories, Albania and Macedonia a three, and Serbia/Montenegro a 3 in one and a 2 in the other. Only Bosnia-Herzegovina lagged, with two 4s. Slovenia ranked in the top 34 democracies, and Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary in the next tier of 28, with Romania and Croatia (like Israel) in the third group of 11. Of 121 electoral democracies, six countries in the region were in the top half, and eight in the upper two thirds. If not perfect, the result was impressive, given that the region had been host to one-party states fifteen years earlier, that only four existed within their 1989 borders (Albania, Bulgaria, Hungary, and Romania), that two of the countries (Croatia and Bosnia) had suffered the worst conflicts in Europe since 1945.
5 “Paradigm� has become a buzz word, used often and inaccurately. I use it here in the sense of a belief system which accommodates only certain information and either rejects or edits all other information to fit within the parameters of the system. For paradigms and their uses, see Thomas S. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996), passim.
6 Richard Holbrooke, To End a War (New York: Modern Library, 1999), pp. 24, 73, 162.
7 James Gow, The Serbian Project and Its Adversaries: A Strategy of War Crimes (Montreal: McGill-Queens University Press, 2003), pp. 8–11, 43–6, 49, 55–8, 158, 163–5, 171, 192, 196–7, 226, 235–6, 239–41, 303–304, 308–309. "In retrospect, that which appeared to be spiteful and senseless had a clear purpose: to drive out an unwanted and potentially hostile population, that is, to cleanse the territory." By driving out the population, according to Gow, the JNA precluded "political disruption, terrorism, or guerrilla tactics."
8 James Morgan Read, Atrocity Propaganda, 1914-1919 (New Haven CT: Yale UP, 1941), discusses the circularity of propaganda.
9 Bogdan Denitch, “Learning from the Death of Yugoslavia: Nationalism and Democracy,� Social Text, 34 (1993): 3–16; Robert M. Hayden, “Imagined Communities and Real Victims: Self-Determination and Ethnic Cleansing in Yugoslavia,� American Ethnologist 23 (November 1996) 4: 783–801; Bette Denich, “Dismembering Yugoslavia: Nationalist Ideologies and the Symbolic Revival of Genocide,� American Ethnologist 21 (May 1994) 2: 367–90.
10 Ivo Banac, “Misreading the Balkans,� Foreign Policy, 93 (Winter 1993),; also see his “Yugoslavia,� American Historical Review (97 (October 1992) 4: pp. 1085–1103, and “The Weight of False History,� in Francis R. Jones and Ivan Lovrenovic, eds., Reconstruction and Deconstruction (Sarajevo: Forum Bosnae, 2002).

11 Ivo Banac, “Misreading the Balkans,� Foreign Policy, 93 (Winter 1993), p. 173.
12 Dennison Rusinow, “Yugoslavia: Balkan Breakup?� Foreign Affairs 83 (Summer 1991): 145, 158.
13 Warren Zimmermann, Origins of a Catastrophe. Yugoslavia and its Destroyers. America’s Last Ambassador Tells What Happened and Why (New York: Random House, 1996), pp. 40, 153.
14 For example, Lazar Markovic, “La questione croate,� Le monde slave (1937), pp. 87–119, or the chapter on Yugoslavia in Joseph Rothschild, East Central Europe between the Two World Wars (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1977). For the best discussion of the root causes of Yugoslavia’s problems, see Ivo Banac, The National Question in Yugoslavia. Origins, History, Politics (Ithaca, NY: Cornell UP, 1984), as well as his discussion of the proximate causes of Yugoslavia’s demise, Ivo Banac, Raspad Jugoslavije: Eseji o nacionalizmu i nacionalnim sukobima (Zagreb: Durieux, 2001), which should be read with Sabrina Ramet’s excellent work, e.g., Balkan Babel. The Disintegration of Yugoslavia from the Death of Tito to the Fall of Milosevic (Boulder: Westview Press, 2002).
15 Gale, Stokes, Review, American Historical Review, 87 (June 1982) 3: 773–4, writes, “There is much that is salutary in this, particularly in Tudjman’s insistence that nationalism is a great humanistic principle.� Tudjman, Stokes noted, was “correct� to see the solution of the national problem as necessary for the stability of Yugoslavia, and he agree that Croats should not be made to feel guilty for World War II and that estimates of the victims at Jasenovac were inflated. Stokes did note that Tudjman was a “nationalist� whose interpretation of history�favors Croatia,� and he later chided Tudjman for failing to “apologize� and “atone� for Ustasa actions. Like Rusinow and Woodward, Stokes made a distinction between a healthy, democratic Serb nationalism, and a fascist, chauvinistic, Croatian nationalism. See Gale Stokes, The Walls Came Tumbling Down. The Collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe (New York: Oxford UP, 1993), pp. 212-213, 218, 227.
16 F. Stephen Larrabee, “Long Memories and Short Fuses: Change and Instability in the Balkans,� International Security, 15 (Winter 1990) 3: 58–91.
17 Bruno Dallago and Milica Uvalic, “The Distributive Consequences of Nationalism: The Case of the Former Yugoslavia,� Europe-Asia Studies, 50 (January 1998) 1: 71–90.
18 Nancy Birdsall, “Life is Unfair: Inequality in the World,� Foreign Policy, pp. 76–93.
19 Colin Crouch, Post-Democracy (London: Polity, 2005).
20 World Bank, World Development Index, 2002.
21 Caroline Hodges Persell, “The Interdependence of Social Justice and Civil Society,� Sociological Forum 12 (1997) 2: 149–72, for the need to link the two concepts.
22 Vojimir Franicevic and Evan Kraft, “Croatia’s Economy after Stabilisation,� Europe-Asia Studies 39 (1997) 4: 669–91, suggest a reality with more nuances.
23 Nick Ceh and Jeff Harder, “Imagining the Croatian Nation,� East European Quarterly (January 2005), pp. 409–416, base their analysis of Croatian “constructions� on 25 hours of interviews. It is typical of this type of approach that the authors never examine the reality of the “constructs.� Ceh and Harder seem to be unaware that by arguing for language as the primary marker of nationality, they are effectively repeatedly the arguments of Vuk Karadzic, the father of modern Serbian nationalism.
24 Robert David Greenberg, Language and Identity in the Balkans: Serbo-Croatian and Its Disintegration (New York: Oxford, 2004). During his presentation at the Wilson Center and he and Woodward ridiculing such constructs as zracnaluka, as well as Denich claiming redarstvo was an Ustasa word.
25 How pervasive the anti-hero-worship became can be seen in Time’s decision to put Mladic on its cover in 1995. For this and the U.S. media, see James J. Sadkovich, The U.S. Media and Yugoslavia, 1991-1995 (Westport CT: Greenwood, 1998), passim.
26 The phrase is from a recent e-mail exchange by two scholars.
27 Nation, Progressive, New York Review of Books, were all influential and provided fora for Hitchens, Glenny, Drakulic, and others critical of both nationalism and Croatia. CITE
28 Joseph Rothschild, Return to Diversity. A Political History of East Central Europe since World War II (New York: Oxford University Press, 1989), p. 186.
29 ICTY, Indictment of Jadranko Prlic, et al., Paragraph 36.
30 Banac, “Misreading.�
31 Alex N. Dragnich, Serbs and Croats: The Struggle in Yugoslavia; Michael Parenti, To Kill a Nation: The Attack on Yugoslavia (2005).
32 Gordana Uzelak, “Franjo Tudjman’s Nationalist Ideology,� East European Quarterly (Winter 1997) 31(4).
33 Mark Biondich, Stjepan Radic, the Croatian Peasant Party, and the Politics of Mass Mobilization (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2000)
34 Denich, “Dismembering Yugoslavia,� p. 380, 383, writes, “Trouble started when the new government in Zagreb acted to install the symbols of its domination throughout Croatia, starting with the new ‘chessboard’ emblem.� Denich is sympathetic to “Serbian nationalists,� who defend themselves against “extreme Croatian nationalists� and she laments the lack of a “democratic system� in Croatia. This is typical of the “Tudjman-made-me-do-it� genre of explanation.
35 Robert Hayden, “Constitutional Nationalism in the Former Yugoslav Republics,� Slavic Review 51 (Winter 1992) 4: 6654–73; “Schindler’s Fate: Genocide, Ethnic Cleansing, and Population Transfers,� Slavic Review 55 (Winter 1996) 7: 27–48; and with Milica Bakic-Hayden, “Orientalist Variations on the Theme ‘Balkan�: Symbolic Geography in Recent Yugoslav Cultural Politics,� Slavic Review 51 (Spring 1992) 1: 1–15.
36 Robert Hayden, “Imagined Communities and Real Victims: Self-Determination and Ethnic Cleansing in Yugoslavia,� American Ethnologist 23 (November 1996) 4: 783–80.
37 Letter, Anto Knezevic, and Reply, R. M. Hayden, Slavic Review, 52 (Summer 1993) 2: 415–417. Similarly, my efforts to challenge Alex Dragnich’s 1991 article, “The Anatomy of a Myth: Serbian Hegemony,� that argued there was no such thing as “Serbian hegemony� were rejected by the editor of Slavic Review, and the article went unchallenged; so both professors and students still consider Dragnich’s piece “true.� This 1991 article is one of only four pieces by Dragnich listed on JSTOR. Dragnich had not published many articles, and like Job’s piece, this one appears to have been written for a reason.
38 Journals often reflect paradigms, e.g., The Mediterranean Quarterly reflects Serbian and Greek points of view, The Journal of Croatian Studies, a Croatian point of view. Mainstream scholarly journals like Slavic Review reflect the paradigms acceptable to their editors and boards.
39 Patrick Hyder Patterson, “On the Edge of Reason: The Boundaries of Balkanism in Slovenian, Austrian, and Italian Discourse,� Slavic Review 62 (Spring 2003) 1: 110–41. Taras Kermauner and Veljko Rus presented Slovenia as a “cultural Piedmont� with a “mission� to end the charismatic, authoritarian style of politics practiced by Tito and Milosevic. Miso Jezernik, the editor of Nova Revija, went further, depicting Slovenia’s South Slav workers as “alien,� thereby echoing Dinko Tomasic and others who have viewed the Balkans, and Serbians in particular, as primitive and antimodern. Slovenia thus becomes the carrier and defender of democratic ideals, a variation on the binary division of Europe into West and East. Stjepan Mestrovic, Slaven Letica, Miroslav Goreta, Habits of the Balkan Heart. Social Character and the Fall of Communism .College Station TX: Texas A & M UP, 1993) base much of their argument distinguishing Croatian from Serbian culture on Tomasic.
40 Sarah Kent, “Writing the Yugoslav Wars: English-Language Books on Bosnia (1992–1996) and the Challenge of Analyzing Contemporary History,� American Historical Review (October 1997): 1085–1114, notes that critical perspective is still lacking and the literature is suffused with “myth, propaganda, oversimplifications, and analogies� that are misleading. Kent also notes that journalists were concentrated in Sarajevo.
41 See Robert D. Kaplan, “Bloody Balkans,� The New Republic, April 8, 1991, “Yugo First,� The New Republic, September 2, 1991, “Croatianism,� The New Republic, November 25, 1991, and Banac, Protiv straha, pp. 232–3, who singled out “Croatianism� as an example of the media’s penchant for resurrecting hoary (prastare) legends and creating new ones, and Anto Knezevic, An Analysis of Serbian Propaganda (Zagreb: Domovina TT, 1992), pp. 27–75, for a detailed rebuttal of Kaplan, who apparently had not even read the works he criticized. Damir Mirkovic, “Ethnic Conflict and Genocide: Reflections on Ethnic Cleansing in the Former Yugoslavia,� Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 548 (November 1996): 191–99, argues that Tudjman’s government practiced “cultural genocide� through such acts as requiring paramilitary groups to surrender their firearms and seeks to associate Croatia’s government with Mile Budak and the 1941–45 Ustasa state. He also sees a historical conspiracy of Austria, Germany, Hungary, the USSR, and the Vatican to kindle conflict in Yugoslavia. Maritti Koskenniemi, “National Self-Determination Today: Problems of Legal Theory and Practice,� The International and Comparative Law Quarterly 43 (April 1994) 2: 241–69, is a sophisticated argument that recognition was premature because the “internal legitimacy� of Croatia and Bosnia was questionable and transformed Serbian efforts to realize self-determination into aggression.
42 Gale Stokes, John Lampe, and Dennison Rusinow with Julie Mostov, “Instant History: Understanding the Wars of Yugoslavia,� Slavic Review 55 (Spring 1996) 1: 136–60.
43 Christopher Bennett, Yugoslavia’s Bloody Collapse. Causes, Course and Consequences. London: Hurst & Cpy., 1995.
44 Lenard J. Cohen, Broken Bonds: The Disintegration of Yugoslavia. Boulder: Westview, 1993, and his most recent, Serpent in the Bosom: The Rise and Fall of Slobodan Milosevic. Boulder, Col.: Westview Press, 2002.
45 Susan L. Woodward, Balkan Tragedy. Chaos and the Dissolution of Yugoslav after the Cold War. Washington DC: Brookings Inst., 1995.
46 Laura Silber and Allan Little, The Death of Yugoslavia. London: Penguin/BBC Books, 1996.
47 Ramet, Balkan Babel; Reneo Lukic and Allen Lynch, Europe from the Balkans to the Urals. The Disintegration of Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union (Oxford University Press, 1996); Branka Magas, The Destruction of Yugoslavia. Tracking the Break-up 1980-92 (New York: Verso, 1993), and Branka Magas and Ivo ®anic, The War in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, 1991–1995 (London: Frank Cass, 2001); Norman Cigar, Genocide in Bosnia. The Policy of Ethnic Cleansing (College Station TX: Texas A&M UP, 1995), and Norman Cigar and Paul Williams, War Crimes and Individual Responsibility: A Prima Facie Case for the Indictment of Slobodan Milosevic (Washington DC: The Balkan Institute, 1996).
48 Banac, “Misreading,� and Ivo Banac, Raspad Jugoslavije, argues that whatever Tudjman did, he could not have accommodated the Serbs, although he could have improved Croatia’s image abroad.
49 Banac, “Misreading,� notes that scholarship on Yugoslavia was “neither profound nor influential,� and that social scientists aped Yugoslav ideology, echoing the Yugoslav literature.
50 The University of Washington published a widely read series on Eastern Europe that included Joseph Rothschild’s work on interwar Yugoslavia. See above for Rothschild.
51 Ivo Banac, “Yugoslavia,� and “The Weight of False History.�

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