There is a famous scene in the movie Spartacus, with Kirk Douglas in the role of the leader of the Roman Empire’s most famous slave revolt. The Romans have captured the slave army and demanded that they give up their leader or else be slaughtered. Spartacus steps forward to save his men. He says, “I… Continue reading Reviving Local Media in Serbia
The disintegration of Yugoslavia was a triumph of nationalist passions over political interests. If the latter had prevailed, the process would at least have proceeded peacefully, as was the case with Czechoslovakia. Instead, three wars took place one after the other, in Croatia, Bosnia, and Kosovo, along with NATO attacks on Serbia. Some of those… Continue reading Passions v. Interests
In April, Serbia and Kosovo signed a landmark normalization treaty. The deal, in what might seem a paradoxical quid pro quo, gives Kosovo authority over the Serbian pocket in the north and greater autonomy to the Serbs living in that region. Despite protests from some Serbs in that area as well as their supporters in… Continue reading Making the Jump Together
Catharsis is an important element in both theater and politics. On stage, the actors enact a drama that generates a great change of emotion in the audience. Through this outpouring of emotion – of pity, of fear — the audience can experience some kind of spiritual renewal. In politics, too, catharsis is an important stage… Continue reading Catharsis!
In the early 1980s, the citizens of Yugoslavia enjoyed a distinct comparative advantage over their counterparts in East-Central Europe. Yugoslavia’s per capita GDP was the best in the region. True, $3,230 might not sound like a lot of money, but the closest competition in 1982 was Czechoslovakia at $2,980. By comparison, Poland’s was only $1,540… Continue reading Yugoslavia Could Have Been a Leader
The incidence of HIV/AIDS in Serbia is comparatively low: 0.1 percent of the population compared to 0.6 percent in the United States, 1 percent in Russia, and 25 percent in Swaziland. Nevertheless, those who live with the disease report that they are stigmatized, ostracized, and have difficulties gaining access to treatment. Some are fired from… Continue reading Speaking Openly in Serbia
In order to get into the European Union, Croatia needs the support of each one of the current 27 members. So far, 20 countries have ratified Croatia’s EU accession treaty. As long as the other seven countries do the same, Croatia will become a member on July 1, 2013. In December, as a final sweetener,… Continue reading Croatia on the Brink
The war in Yugoslavia began as a conflict over state structure. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the nationalist movements in the republics championed greater autonomy only to be suppressed in turn by Tito, who then went on to incorporate many of their demands in the 1974 Yugoslav constitution. In 1989, Slobodan Milosevic signaled… Continue reading Serbia’s Future: Back to the Past?