INGOs in Serbia


International Non-Governmental Organizations and “Democracy Assistance” in SerbiaChip GagnonCarnegie Project on “Evaluating NGO Strategies for Democratization and Conflict Prevention in the Formerly Communist States”

December 1998


I. Introduction

Of all the Central and East European countries, Serbia has seen the least amount of political change over the past ten years. The ruling party from the communist era remains in power, has tighter control over political and economic institutions than it did eleven years ago, and shows no signs of weakening its grip. Although opposition parties have been active since 1990, have three times since then managed to organize massive anti-regime protests that seriously threatened the status quo, and have had some significant electoral successes, they have been unable to translate those achievements into political power.

Serbia and the other former Yugoslav republics are usually not included in studies of democratization, often because they are seen as a special case of unresolved ethnic and national conflict. From this perspective, only when those questions had been cleared up would democratization be feasible. The ending of the war in Bosnia in November 1995 would thus seem to have presented an opportunity for the process of democratization to begin in Serbia. And indeed, the main opposition coalition won control of major cities including Belgrade in the November 1996 elections. When the regime moved to block those results, major anti-regime street protests rocked the cities of Serbia for three months. These events were seen as a signal to begin democratization assistance on the part of two US-based NGOs: the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and the International Republican Institute (IRI).

Yet two years later, the situation had in fact deteriorated. The previously confident democratic opposition coalition has splintered, and the ruling party is in an even stronger position than before. Western and US INGOs are actively hindered from operating within Serbia. Yet as of fall 1998 NDI, IRI, and USAID had not suspended political party development programs in the country.

This report will give a brief background on why and how the regime has managed to maintain its power despite seemingly overwhelming odds against it. Understanding how the SPS has maintained its power, through its own strategies, through the mistakes of the opposition, and through the actions of the international community, points to the reasons why INGO work focusing on political party development, even if allowed to operate, would not be very effective. It will also explain why Serbia alone of the countries in the region has been able to prevent US NGOs from operating with impunity. It then briefly looks at the experience of two INGOs, NDI and IRI, in their attempts to do party development work in Serbia.(1)

II. Historical and Political Context

In the 1980s Yugoslavia seemed to be the most likely of the East European socialist countries to move towards a liberal political and economic system. The country had been open to the west, its citizens had been free to travel, and ideas of political and economic liberalism were familiar ones. Within the ruling communist party itself calls were coming to adopt elements of western economic and political systems. By 1989 the federal prime minister, Ante Markovic, was openly and actively working to implement a liberal political and economic system, with the goal of EC membership. Yugoslavia was thus very well placed to undergo political and economic transformations from within. Yet a mere ten years later the largest Yugoslav republics had been through a bloody and destructive series of wars and were the furthest behind the curve in terms of political and economic reforms.

This paradox is usually explained with reference to ethnic hatreds that led to violence. In this story democratization was a force that either opened the pandora’s box of repressed hatreds, giving them the means to be openly expressed; or it was simply impossible until these repressed hatreds were dealt with and genuine national states arose from the ashes of socialist Yugoslavia.(2) In either case, the Yugoslav republics are usually excluded from studies of democratization.

In fact, however, Yugoslavia, and Serbia in particular, should be seen as a very good case study of the impact of democratization. The war and the process of democratization are very closely linked, not because democratization allowed the population to express its ethnic sentiments after 50 years of communist rule, but rather because conservative forces within the League of Communists of Serbia (LCS, in 1990 renamed the Socialist Party of Serbia, SPS) feared the opposite: that the population would vote for political and economic liberals, and that appeals to ethnicity and ethnic solidarity would not be enough to defeat the liberals. Exactly because of the strength of domestic forces which favored political and economic liberalization, combined with pressures from outside, including events in the rest of Eastern Europe as well as western pressure on the region to democratize, these conservatives were extremely threatened.

Faced with the prospect of losing everything, and seeing the fate of conservatives in the rest of Eastern Europe, conservatives in the LCS/SPS decided that instead of surrendering and losing everything they would try to defend the existing structures of political and economic power within Serbia. This goal was realized through a strategy of provoking violent conflict along ethnic lines, which was meant to marginalize and silence the democratic opposition and its supporters; to destroy the Yugoslav federal state and thus remove the danger of Ante Markovic’s attempts at liberalization from above; and to create a majority-Serb state in which images of threatened Serbdom could continue to be invoked as a way of marginalizing the liberal opposition. This strategy, while very costly in terms of the country and its people as a whole, has been very successful in achieving the main goal of preserving the status quo structures of power.

The SPS’s strategies have been quite consistent since the first multiparty elections in December 1990. First, through control over personnel appointments the SPS has maintained control over major political institutions, over the police (which Milosevic has built up into a loyal force larger than the Yugoslav army), and especially over the economy. Maintaining Serbia’s economy as a socialist one that is not controlled by foreign capital is one of the major goals of the SPS, which has not allowed privatization or significant foreign investment. The SPS has blamed the poor economic situation on the hostile outside world and the economic sanctions it placed on Serbia during the war in Bosnia-Hercegovina.

Control over the economy also includes putting officials loyal to the SPS, or to its “sister” party the Yugoslav United Left (JUL, ideologically perhaps more leftist than the SPS, founded by Milosevic’s wife Mira Markovic and a very close ally of the SPS) into management positions in major state enterprises. This tight control thus takes the form it did in the communist era, with the ruling party (or parties) being inseparable from the state apparatus. The result is that those who want to advance their careers will support SPS and/or JUL for pragmatic reasons alone. Significantly, in localities where democratic opposition parties have taken power, for example in parts of Belgrade, they have merely replicated this behavior of the SPS, putting their own people into political and economic positions, and indication of the structural nature of this political behavior.

This control over the domestic economy also helps explain why Serbia is so resistant to the work of INGOs, and why it is able to resist outside intervention into its domestic sphere. Although Serbia certainly would like to have export markets and access to foreign technology, the SPS from 1990 onward has made it quite clear it has no interest in joining the EU, which of course would require a shift to privatization, liberalization, and a loss of sovereignty. Thus perhaps alone of the East European countries, Serbia has not bought into the the liberalizing model that is prevalent in most of the region. Because of that, and because it is not in a position of dependence vis-à-vis the west, Serbia is able to resist pressures from the west regarding its domestic affairs in a way that other Central and East European countries could not, even if they so desired. The western leverage that does exist has in any case been directed at getting Serbia to end the war in Bosnia-Hercegovina, implement the Dayton Agreement, and moderate its policies in Kosovo. This limited western ability to influence Serbia’s domestic policies means that the SPS can prevent INGOs that seek to undermine the existing system from operating within the country.

In terms of political strategy, the SPS has managed to marginalize the opposition in a number of ways. First, the SPS has maintained tight control over the mass media, especially television and mass circulation newspapers, since the conservatives took power in 1987. It has also cracked down on independent print media and radio, thus consolidating its control over the flow of information. This policy of tight control was taken a step further in October 1998 when, using the threat of NATO airstrikes over Kosovo as a pretext, the regime passed a draconian media law and closed down numerous independent media outlets.(3)

Second, using the state-controlled media, the SPS has consistently presented itself as a moderate party which ensures peace, progress, and Serbia’s independence in the face of a hostile world. This political line has been most striking in the pre-election campaigns, where the SPS focuses on social and economic issues. Indeed, ironically, from the 1990 campaign onwards the SPS has consistently portrayed itself as the guarantor of peace, while accusing its opponents of wanting to foment conflict. This strategy is a quite complex one because at particular times (for example in 1992 and more strikingly in 1997-98), the SPS has sought to undercut the democratic opposition by promoting the neo-fascist Serbian Radical Party (SRS), which is currently, along with the SPS and JUL, part of the ruling coalition government. In particular, when the SPS wants to promote the SRS it portrays the party as relatively moderate in the state-controlled mass media. The effect is to further reinforce the SPS’s position as a centrist party, the only force that is keeping Seselj’s SRS from coming to power.

This strategy of course was most striking during the wars in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina (and in the current situation in Kosovo as well). Those wars were very much planned and implemented by Belgrade, which dispatched paramilitary forces (including the militia of the SRS) to undertake horrific atrocities and which imposed and then economically and militarily supported the extremist forces ruling the Serb-held areas of those countries. Yet in Serbia itself the wars were portrayed in a quite different way, with the Croats and Muslims (and now Albanians) as terrorists and aggressors, and Serbs as merely innocent victims. Allegations of atrocities by Serb forces were harshly denied with the claim that Serbs could never do such things.

The wars themselves, and the way they were portrayed, have been another very consistent part of the SPS’s strategy. This violence, and images that portray innocent Serbs as victims of bloodthirsty “others,” has coincided with periods when the democratic opposition has mobilized massive, sustained anti-regime street protests. In March 1991, spring 1992, and winter 1996-97, the opposition’s supporters took to the streets to protest the SPS’s policies and its dictatorial behavior. Each time, political analysts saw these mobilizations as signaling the end of the SPS’s rule. Each time, Milosevic would publicly compromise on some issues. But at the same time he would also start provoking violent conflicts: in 1991 in Croatia, in 1992 in Bosnia-Hercegovina, and in 1997 in Kosovo. Each time these conflicts, and their portrayal in the media, were instrumental in derailing the opposition’s momentum, and the mass mobilizations ended with little if any tangible impact. Significantly, the west tended to accept the SPS’s portrayal of the conflicts in Croatia, BH, and Kosovo as clashes between hostile ethnic groups. Because of this uncritical view, the west did not see that these conflicts were in fact strategies of the SPS whose goals were largely within the domestic political arena, a means to counter the strength of the opposition.(4)

The most recent protests in the winter of 1996/97, which were sparked by Milosevic’s refusal to accept the results of 1996 local elections in which the opposition coalition Zajedno (Together) took control of city councils of the 14 largest cities, including Belgrade, did little to change the situation. The local governments have very little power, and in the 1997 parliamentary elections the coalition split over the issue of boycotting the election, a split that was replicated at the local level in many cases. This strategy of shifting the focus of political discourse toward violent conflicts has been extremely effective in marginalizing and silencing the democratic opposition and those within Serbia who seek political change.

This leads to another major reason for the SPS’s success: the democratic opposition itself. While the opposition parties have had much success and experience in political organizing, mass mobilization, and electoral campaigns, they in fact are quite different ideologically, and only one, the very small Gradanski Savez (Citizen’s Alliance) has consistently sworn off nationalism. Attempts to form and sustain coalitions, including the most recent one that had much success in local elections in 1996 (Zajedno), have foundered on clashing views among the parties’ leaders over ideology, strategy and tactics, as well as on the SPS’s consistent attempts to split the opposition coalitions. This has resulted, for example, in the splintering of the Democratic Party (DS) twice, into the Democratic Party, the Democratic Party of Serbia (DSS), and the Democratic Center (DC); and in the 1997 abandonment of the Zajedno coalition by one of its major members, Vuk Draskovic of the Serbian Renaissance Movement (SPO). In addition, by buying into the idea that success comes through trying to outbid the SPS on issues of nationalism, some opposition parties have only played into the SPS’s hands, especially since the hard-core nationalist vote will usually go to the SRS anyway.

Indeed, the issues that have managed to mobilize people into the streets have not been nationalist ones; when the Serb-held areas in Croatia and then in BH fell and tens of thousands of Serb refugees flooded into Serbia, there was no massive outcry. Only when the regime tried to prevent the opposition from taking power in localities where it won elections did people massively take to the streets. This was true of the other mass mobilizations as well. Their focus was not on nationalist or ethnic issues, but rather on the issues of the economy, political freedom, control of the media, etc. Yet the SPS, with its control of the mass media, has managed at crucial moments to divert significant parts of the democratic opposition toward nationalist issues.

Apart from the internal strategies of the SPS and the problems of the opposition, another major factor that explains the staying power of the SPS is the policy of the west. Indeed, the Serbian case shows the dangers of western governments relying on a “strong man” to ensure stability in the region and ignoring the trends toward change and democracy within societies. In the Serbian case there was a very strong tendency among some western governments, Great Britain in particular, to support a “strong Serbia”–defined as a Serbia with a strong, authoritarian leader–for the sake of stability in the Balkans; the other western powers have de facto taken the same approach (and not only toward Serbia; US support of Croatian president Franjo Tudjman is a similar case). Such a strategy by its very nature ignores and tends to write off as marginal or powerless democratic opposition forces, which has a tremendous impact within the country, among the population. When the US deals with Milosevic as a trusted partner, the SPS is able to use this to assure the population that Milosevic is a serious, experienced statesman, a man of peace, and that the west doesn’t take the opposition seriously.(5)

Yet outright support for opposition candidates, in the form of US political and economic incentives or “party work” by US-based INGOs, can also backfire, since the SPS can then portray the opposition as foreign agents working for their “paymasters” in the west. The SPS has since at least 1989 consistently painted the democratic opposition (parties, ngos, independent media) as mere puppets of powerful external enemies who seek to weaken and destroy Serbia as an independent state.

The west also contributed to the weakness of the opposition by portraying Serbs as monolithically nationalistic and chauvinistic. Although this was especially the case during the wars in Croatia and especially Bosnia-Hercegovina, it was also seen in reporting on the winter 1996/97 protests, which the New York Timeswrongly characterized as largely nationalist in nature. While the SPS surely did provoke and prosecute violent wars in Croatia and BH, it would be a mistake to see these wars and the “ethnic conflict” more generally as being the unanimous expression of the will of the Serbian people (although that is how the regime itself portrayed it). Rather, the wars were a means by which the regimes sought to construct a very particular meaning of Serbianness. While it cannot be denied that many, perhaps the majority, of Serbs in Serbia passively accepted the wars being prosecuted in their names, what is striking is how the images of a monolithic, rabidly nationalistic Serbia are contradicted by facts on the ground–for example the 80 percent of young men who ignored their draft notices and went abroad or underground rather than fight in the war in Croatia, and the strong showing (50 percent of votes cast) of the anti-nationalist presidential candidate Milan Panic in 1992. By accepting the SPS as the sole legitimate representative of the interests of Serbs, if for no other reason than “pragmatic reasons of power,” and by accepting their discourse of ethnic wars between ethnically monolithic groups, the west ignored the analyses of the democratic opposition, and thus undermined the native trends toward change that had been present in Serbia from at least the 1960s and most clearly the mid-1980s onward.

With this background, the current conflict in Kosovo can be seen as part of this larger SPS strategy.(6) Of course part of it is a reaction to events in Kosovo itself, especially the rise of the Kosovo Liberation Army. But the SPS has clearly adopted a confrontational strategy on this issue; it has accepted the policies of SRS president Seselj as the basis of its policy, rather than more compromising policies, and has even named Seselj as the official government spokesman on the issue of Kosovo. At the same time the SPS has cracked down on independent radio and print media. It has also launched an all-out assault on the autonomy of Belgrade University, including disbanding the Faculty of Philosophy, one of the bastions of independent and critical thought in Serbia. Once again the opposition is paralyzed.

III. Strategies of Western NGOs(7)

During the war in Bosnia, most diplomatic relations with the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (which Serbia dominates) were completely cut, but following the signing of the Dayton Accords in November 1995, relations have slowly been established. International assistance to Serbia began in earnest following the winter 1996/97 street protests, which the international community saw as a sign of a weakening of the SPS’s position. Three months of street protests represented the strongest political activity in Serbia since the spring 1992 anti-regime protests. In light of parliamentary and presidential elections scheduled for November 1997, USAID deemed it the right time for a more concerted level of support for the democratic movement in Serbia.

The original USAID strategy was to bring the political party institutes into Serbia to work with the opposition forces and consolidate their power. The USAID mechanisms were however quite slow, and the institutes were not able to place long-term staff until August of 1997, six months after the street protests. By that time, the Zajedno coalition was crumbling under the pressure of new elections and the strategy needed to change. But even if the response had been immediate, it would have been a case of too little too late. Outsiders unfamiliar with the political history of Serbia or of these parties will have little impact on the forces and structures that are driving political party behavior in Serbia. This is especially true with Draskovic and the SPO, which left the Zajedno coalition. Thus while timing is a crucial factor, more important would be a long-term strategy that is extremely knowledgeable about and sensitive to events on the ground.

The fall of 1997 was a very election-heavy time. Republic-level parliamentary and presidential elections were held in September; presidential run-off elections for Serbia were held in October and December 1997. The Zajedno coalition attempted to stay together in a unified boycott of these elections; this unified boycott failed, further splintering the coalition. The elections and boycott consumed the reformers’ attention for the entire fall, making it a very difficult time to initiate new political support programs.

In the meantime the increasing violence in Kosovo was accompanied in the winter of 1997/98 by a crackdown on westerners working in Belgrade. Both party institutes faced trying bureaucratic hurdles to obtain visas for themselves and for their trainers. Visa waits of up to two months outside of the FRY became common. Single entry, one-month visas were about the only sure bet–then even those became difficult. The Belgrade regime understandably did little to facilitate the work of western NGOs and the logistics of keeping a program open became all-consuming. Only in May and June 1998 did in-country staff make some headway in obtaining longer-term visas, which nevertheless remain extremely limited. But by October 1998 and the threat of NATO airstrikes against Serbia over its policies in Kosovo, almost the entire expatriate community was evacuated from Serbia.

The slowness of program start-up, the overwhelming number of elections and the very difficult logistics faced by institute staff created a situation where in the nine months of program operation, only approximately 4 or 5 months of work had been conducted. This report does not represent a full-blown assessment of the impact of party development strategies, but rather addresses the issues raised in working in this context, given the distribution of power, and tentatively suggests alternative methods to assist native trends toward democratization within the country. That said, a few comments can be made regarding how this situation was handled–by both the party institutes themselves, as well as USAID.

National Democratic Institute (NDI)

Immediately following the local elections and demonstrations, NDI secured some NED funding for an assessment of the political environment and possibilities for NDI programming in the region, which was conducted in March 1997. NED funding also allowed for very limited work through August of 1997, when USAID funding finally kicked in.

The USAID-funded NDI program began in August 1997, when the regional representative Paul Rowland arrived in Belgrade. At that time, republic-level parliamentary and presidential elections had been called for September. Therefore, given NDI’s policy of not working with political parties 30 days or less before an election, no political development activities were initiated. Instead, NDI focused its efforts on a domestic election monitoring group, the Center for Free Elections and Democracy. This group was created following the demonstrations, but given the difficult environment in Serbia it met with little success and was unable to gain credentials or develop a long-term vision. While NDI continued limited work with this group, they refocused their program back to long-term party development following the election cycle.

NDI also adjusted its strategy to take advantage of the relative openness of Montenegro and the potential to support the self-professed reformer, Milo Djukanovic.

In January 1998 NDI initiated its long-term party development program. Intensive training began in February for seven parties in Montenegro and in March for seven parties in Serbia. This training was designed to kick-off the long-term program. However, as soon as this training was complete, Paul Rowland faced a visa crisis and no follow-through was possible. In the end, over the course of the past year, NDI managed to bring four trainers into Serbia for these initial trainings.

As of June 1998 NDI was finally ready to re-start its long-term political development program. Over the next year they planned to work with two “tiers” of parties. The first tier included the Democratic Party, SPO, and Civic Alliance. Second-tier parties include Democratic Center, Social Democrats and New Democracy.

NDI/Washington described their overall strategy as promoting “pluralism” as opposed to “democracy”. With this focus, they are pursuing a long-term political party development strategy, as they see competing parties as the key to “pluralism”. This strategy also builds in the need to work in Montenegro, as the more reforming republic builds competition into the FRY federal system. They do ask themselves the question: “are we better in than out?”. With a strategy of promoting a pluralistic process as opposed to a political agenda, they still believe the answer is to remain “in”.

International Republican Institute (IRI)

IRI’s representative Ellen Yount spent enormous amounts of time and energy battling the local administration over her local registration and visa–including being brought to court to testify as to why she has been living as a resident on a temporary visa.

From brief discussions with Ellen and the Washington DC representative, IRI views their engagement in Serbia as similar to other long-term political party development activities in the region. Simply put, from the perspective of IRI, political parties in Serbia are nascent and need a long-term program of basic support.

In response to the difficulties of working in Serbia, IRI began their programs in border towns in Hungary, focusing on the Vojvodina region. In the election-heavy fall of 1997, they began their program by conducting focus groups and opinion polling to give party partners concrete tools to use in the election. The surveys are now helping generate party interest in constituent issues.

IRI’s focus is on targets of opportunity at the local level–particularly where the Zajedno coalition is staying together. Despite the one-year grant from USAID, they are beginning to think along a five-six year engagement scenario. They have not considered moving programs to Montenegro.

The Washington-based IRI representative viewed the challenges in Serbia as similar to other parts of the region, only about five years behind. They have embarked on a basic long-term political party development program, with the same direct approach they have used region-wide. They see their biggest strategic challenge as creating the space necessary for political activism.

IV. Conclusion

Political parties have been active in Serbia since 1990. They have survived in a particularly hostile environment in which they faced physical harassment and attacks in the media. They have at times taken risks in order to oppose “patriotic” popular opinion by criticizing the SPS’s actions in Croatia, Bosnia-Hercegovina, and Kosovo. The main opposition parties–DS, SPO, GS–all have experience in running elections, winning elections, and political organizing at the local and republic level. They have at least three times mobilized the population throughout Serbia in anti-regime protests. Their victories in the 1996 local elections, their ability to deny the SPS and its allies an outright parliamentary majority in the 1997 elections, and their ability in 1997 to prevent Milosevic’s handpicked candidate for Serbian president from receiving enough votes to win, show that they have a good knowledge of political tactics.

The fact that western attention to the democratic opposition has been so limited for so long means that most westerners are probably unaware of this context. It also means that any attempt to come onto the scene now must be sensitive to these impressive experiences of the Serbian opposition. It is, for example, a mistake to characterize the situation in Serbia as being similar to that of other Central-East European countries. Too often history begins the moment an INGO or other international representative appears on the scene. What this points to is the need to be sensitive to the context in which INGOs are operating, and not to assume anything based on experiences elsewhere in the region or preconceived notions gathered from the western media.

It also suggests the need to think about outside involvement in political environments dominated by forces hostile to such involvement. Other options may include operating with only a local staff in country. But both party institutes seem curiously reluctant to develop strong, professional local staff, and this leads to program suspensions when expatriate staff face visa problems.

From this brief survey it seems clear that in such environments NDI and IRI should not be present. If party work is going to be done, it would seem better for European parties, or NGOs that are not funded by the US government, to undertake that work, especially given the degree to which the US is identified as the major anti-Serbian force in the world. Of course the idea of having programs that are planned and implemented by local staff is a very good one. But the challenge here is how to allow Serbian political activists themselves to set the agenda, priorities, tactics and strategies.

The fact that INGOs waited until the 1997 protest movement to give support to the democratic opposition is symptomatic of the problems with current strategies, and highlight how de-contextualized IRI’s and NDI’s activities are. By the time of the 1997 street protests the SPS had had seven years to tighten its grip over the structures of power within Serbia and to marginalize the opposition. In this environment, and given the experience of the opposition parties, the best method to help them is not political party work, but rather strategies that focus on those sectors of society which from the start have wanted change–young people, urban populations, the educated, women–but which have been marginalized and silenced by the regime’s strategy of provoking violent conflict along ethnic lines to shift the focus of political discourse. This of course does not fit into the neat categories of “political party work” or “civic education,” and requires long hard work by people who are very familiar with the country, its culture and language and its recent history. Local political parties and NGOs that are not dependent on outside funding should themselves be making these decisions and coming up with the best ways to overcome their problems. Since they are all very well acquainted with the context as well as with their own shortcomings, any program should be very much planned and directed by the locals, rather than having preconceived notions and programs imposed on them from outside.

In fact, the political parties and local NGOs themselves know very well what is needed, what obstacles they face, and how to overcome them. What they need are the resources and support to move forward in this very difficult situation, rather than being pressured to follow pre-mixed recipes from elsewhere in the region. Only efforts that build on the real situation on the ground, rather than trying to impose US priorities and notions of democracy and political parties, will have the slightest chance of success.

Given the context and factors outlined above, a major question is why USAID decided to fund these projects. A second big question is why neither party institute nor USAID decided to suspend programming due to the difficult situation. It seems to be almost impossible for the party institutes to admit that conditions are too poor for work.

Both of these questions raise the much larger question of the motivation of these institutes, of USAID, and of US foreign policy itself, and whether this kind of programming is in the best interest of the people of Serbia and other targeted countries. They also point to the need for a fundamental rethinking of the purposes, motivations, and goals associated with what has come to be known as “democracy assistance.”


1. The author wishes to thank Jeanne Bourgault for consultation on the work of INGOs in Serbia.

2. For examples see Lenard Cohen, Broken Bonds: Yugoslavia’s Disintegration and Balkan Politics in Transition (Boulder: Westview, 1995), chapter 10; Robert Kaplan, Balkan Ghosts: A Journey Through History (NY: St.Martin’s Press, 1993); Donald Horowitz, “Democracy in Divided Societies,” in Larry Diamond and Marc Plattner, eds., Nationalism, Ethnic Conflict and Democracy (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1994, pp.35-55.

3. See for example R. Jeffrey Smith, “Media Controls Leave Serbians in the Dark,” Washington Post, October 18, 1998, p.A29; Slobodan Pavlovic, “Darkness over Serbia,” Washington Post, October 20, 1998, p.A19. On the new media law see Milos Vasic, “Urednici Srbije,” Vreme (Belgrade), October 24, 1998.

4. V.P. Gagnon, Jr., “Ethnic Nationalism and International Conflict: The Case of Serbia,” International Security, vol.19, no.3 (winter 1994/95), pp.130-166; on Kosovo see report by the International Crisis Group, “Again the Invisible Hand: Slobodan Milosevic’s Manipulation of the Kosovo Dispute,” May 6, 1998, on ICG web site:

5. See for example “In US Eyes, ‘Good’ Muslims and ‘Bad’ Serbs Did a Switch,” New York Times, November 23, 1998, p.1.

6. See for example reports on Kosovo by the International Crisis Group, at their web site:

7. This report was complete in December 1998 and thus does not cover the post-Kosovo crisis situation.