Serbia Since 1989

Politics and Society under Milosevic and After

Edited by Sabrina P. Ramet and Vjeran I. Pavlakovic

  • Published: July 2015
  • Subject Listing: History / European History; Politics
  • Bibliographic information: 440 pp., 6 x 9 in.
  • Territorial rights: World Rights
  • Contents

During their thirteen years in power, Slobodan Milosevic and his cohorts plunged Yugoslavia into wars of ethnic cleansing, leading to the murder of thousands of civilians. The Milosevic regime also subverted the nation's culture, twisted the political mainstream into a virulent nationalist mold, sapped the economy through war and the criminalization of a free market, returned to gender relations of a bygone era, and left the state so dysfunctional that its peripheries - Kosovo, Vojvodina, and Montenegro - have been struggling to maximize their distance from Belgrade, through far-reaching autonomy or through outright independence.

In this valuable collection of essays, Vjeran Pavlakovic, Reneo Lukic, and Obrad Kesic examine elements of continuity and discontinuity from the Milosevic era to the twenty-first century, the struggle at the center of power, and relations between Serbia and Montenegro. Contributions by Sabrina Ramet, James Gow, and Milena Michalski explore the role of Serbian wartime propaganda and the impact of the war on Serbian society. Essays by Eric Gordy, Maja Miljovic, Marko Hoare, and Kari Osland look at the legacy of Serbia's recent wars-issues of guilt and responsibility, the economy, and the trial of Slobodan Milosevic in The Hague. Sabrina Ramet and Biljana Bijelic address the themes of culture and values. Frances Trix, Emil Kerenji, and Dennis Reinhartz explore the peripheries in the politics of Kosovo/a, Vojvodina, and Serbia's Roma.

Serbia Since 1989 reveals a Serbia that is still traumatized from Milosevic's rule and groping toward redefining its place in the world.
Sabrina P. Ramet is professor of political science at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim; a senior associate of the Peace Research Institute, Oslo; and a research associate at the Science and Research Center of the Republic of Slovenia, Koper. She is the author of many books including Balkan Babel and Social Currents in Eastern Europe. Vjeran Pavlakovic is a doctoral candidate in history at the University of Washington and former Fulbright fellow at the University of Zagreb in Croatia. He is a coauthor of Sovereign Law vs. Sovereign Nation: The Cases of Kosovo and Montenegro.

1. Introduction: Serbia as a Dysfunctional State / Vjeran Pavlakovic

Part I. The Center
2. Serbia Transformed? Political Dynamics in the Milosevic Era and After / Vjeran Pavlakovic
3. From the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia to the Union of Serbia and Montenegro / Reneo Lukic
4. An Airplane with Eighteen Pilots: Serbia after Milosevic / Obrad Kesic

Part II. The Legacy of the War
5. Under the Holy Lime Tree: The Inculcation of Neurotic and Psychotic Syndromes as a Serbian Wartime Strategy, 1986-95 / Sabrina P. Ramet
6. The Impact of the War on Serbia: Spoiled Appetites and Progressive Decay / James Gow and Milena Michalski
7. Postwar Guilt and Responsibility in Serbia: The Effort to Confront It and the Effort to Avoid It / Eric D. Gordy
8. Crime and the Economy under Milosevic and His Successors / Maja Miljkovic and Marko Attila Hoare
9. The Trial of Slobodan Milosevic / Kari M. Osland

Part III. Culture and Values
10. The Politics of the Serbian Orthodox Church / Sabrina P. Ramet
11. Nationalism, Motherhood, and the Reordering of Women's Power / Biljana Bijelic

Part IV. Peripheries
12. Kosovar Albanians between a Rock and a Hard Place / Frances Trix
13. Vojvodina since 1988 / Emil Kerenji
14. The Yugoslav Roma under Slobodan Milosevic and After / Dennis Reinhartz

Part V. Conclusion
15. The Sirens and the Guslar: An Afterword / Sabrina P. Ramet


"This book is a key collection in the study of Serbia and succeeds in discussing topics which have been neglected by many other texts."
-European History Quarterly

"It is difficult to do justice to such a superbly edited and carefully conceived book as Serbia Since 1989. Despite the considerable literature on the Yugoslav break-up, few authors have managed to capture so consistently and with such attention to detail the political mood and social dynamics of Serbia as the contributors to this collection."
-Canadian Slavonic Papers