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Fight for Great Serbia: Myth and Reality

Author(s): Toni Petković

The aim of this article is to carefully analyze Serbian national politics in the early 1990s. I will argue that political struggle taking place in Serbia at the beginning of the 1990s cannot be reduced to a homogenous nationalist enterprise for the creation of “Greater Serbia.” This view oversimplifies and ignores the complexity of existing political debates, shaped both by pragmatic internal electoral considerations, and by changing international conditions and perspectives themselves. Serbian national politics, to the point it was established at all, was based on the insistence on the radical combination of two mutually contradicting principles – ethnic self-determination and territorial integrity, taken exclusively in their most extreme forms. To achieve national unity in a single state, once Yugoslavia was no longer viable, Serbs had to fight two very different simultaneous political battles. They had to fight for the self-determination of Serbs from the administrative borders of Croatia and Bosnia, on the one hand, and for the territorial unity of Serbia itself, on the other hand. Combined and realized outside the frame of the Yugoslav state, simultaneous implementation of those two principles would, indeed, produce a result that could be regarded as the realization of some Greater Serbian project.

About the Author:
Toni Petković is a Psychologist with a specialization in Nationalism studies and Comparative history gained at Central European University in Budapest, where he received MA and PhD degrees


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