Reference : The owl of Minerva flies only at dusk? British diplomacy on the eve of Yugoslav wars
Scientific journals : Article
Arts & humanities : History
The owl of Minerva flies only at dusk? British diplomacy on the eve of Yugoslav wars
Glaurdic, Josip mailto [University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Language and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education (FLSHASE) > Identités, Politiques, Sociétés, Espaces (IPSE) >]
East European Politics & Societies
SAGE Publications
Yes (verified by ORBilu)
[en] breakup of Yugoslavia ; British foreign policy ; Yugoslav wars ; Greater Serbia ; division of Bosnia and Herzegovina
[en] Could the Western foreign policy makers have done anything to prevent the violence accompanying the breakup of Yugoslavia? The answer to that question largely depends on their level of awareness of what was happening in the South Slavic federation in the run-up to war. This article analyzes a string of newly declassified documents of the British Foreign Office related to the February 1991 visit of a high-level British political delegation to Yugoslavia, together with interviews with some of the meetings’ protagonists. These declassified documents and interviews offer a unique snapshot in the development of the Yugoslav crisis and Britain’s policy in the region. They give us a clear picture of the goals and strategies of the principal Yugoslav players and show us what the West knew about the true nature of the Yugoslav crisis and when. The article’s conclusions are clear. Yugoslavia’s breakup and impending violence did not require great foresight. Their cause was known well in advance because it was preannounced— it was the plan of the Serbian regime of Slobodan Milošević to impose a centralized Yugoslavia upon the other republics or, if that failed, to use force to create a Greater Serbia on Yugoslavia’s ruins. Crucially, British policy at the time did nothing to dissuade Milošević from his plan and likely contributed to his confidence in using violence to pursue the creation of a new and enlarged Serbian state.
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