Ulster Logo
Link to facebook  Link to INCOREinfo on twitter  Link to INCORE rss feed    Linkedin link Linkedin link

The Ethnic Conflict Research Digest

1998, Vol. 1 No. 1 .

The Changing Shape of the Balkans
FW Carter & HT Norris.

(London: UCL Press, 1996).
180pp. Index. Pb.:
£14.95. ISBN 1-85728-120-9.

The shape of the Balkans has indeed changed and unfortunately has left much of this otherwise good book behind. This book was written in 1991, parts of it only very slightly updated, and for an unspecified reason it was not published until 1996. Having said that, much of this book is of lasting interest: Mark Wheeler's defence of the Balkan political heritage as 'not so black as it's painted'; H.T. Norris on competing perspectives on Kosova's history and cultural identity; Natasha Milanovich on Slovenia's geopolitical position; S. Sorabji on the roles of Islamic self-perceptions in Bosnia; George Joffé on Muslims in the Balkans more generally; John Allcock on Yugoslav borders, states and citizenship, Michel Boucher on Western Europe and the Balkans; George Prevelakis on Macedonia; and Hugh Poulton on minorities and boundaries.

The one dire chapter in the book is that of Mladen Klemencic. Chillingly, he states that: 'The Croatian side was always likely to respect Islamic culture ... Naturally, Croatia will carry on its care for the Croatian community within Bosnia-Herzegovina but only to help them to ensure a satisfactory status.' (pp. 113-4) What a whitewash of a murderous policy of ethnic cleansing of Muslims in central Bosnia directed from Zagreb! Consider also this dreadful glossing over of the ethnic cleansing of Krajina Serbs: 'Krajina has been re-incorporated within Croatia, and few of its Serb population are in residence there.' (p.111) If I were a Serb I would be worried about living in a Croatia run by people like Klemencic. The sensitive analysis of his co-authors was clearly wasted on him, and how his piece got past the editors is beyond me.

Eric Herring, University of Bristol

Disclaimer: © INCORE 2010 Last Updated on Monday, 10-Aug-2015 12:20
contact usgoto the search page
go to the top of this page