A Free City in the Balkans: Reconstructing a Divided Society by Matthew Parish

By Matthew Parish

Following the brutal wars which raged within the former Yugoslavia within the early Nineties, Bosnia and Herzegovina was once awkwardly partitioned into governing entities: the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Republika Srpska. yet there has been one a part of the rustic which may no longer be geared up into both classification: the Breko District, a strategically serious land-bridge among the 2 elements of the Bosnian Serb territory. This sector used to be the topic of a hugely strange scan: put lower than a regime of across the world supervised govt, Breko grew to become a ""free city,"" evoking the reminiscence of Trieste or Danzig within the nineteenth century. What has this test in state-building published in regards to the heritage of this afflicted nook of the Balkans - and its destiny? What classes may be utilized to clash answer in different elements of the realm? And used to be the test winning or have the electorate of Breko suffered extra by the hands of the foreign neighborhood? A unfastened urban within the Balkans investigates the increase and fall of Breko and post-war Bosnia and investigates what classes may be discovered for overseas peacekeeping missions elsewhere.

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Additional info for A Free City in the Balkans: Reconstructing a Divided Society in Bosnia (International Library of War Studies)

Sample text

For that purpose it is with an introduction to the history of Bosnia, and to the anomalous town of Brčko, that we should begin. 2 BOSNIA AND BRČKO To understand Brčko, one must understand the country of which it is part, Bosnia and Herzegovina. This country has had a long, tragic and violent history, in which external domination by foreign powers has played a recurrent role. It is a very unusual place. g. Malcolm 1996). Here the barest précis will suffice, so the reader may begin to comprehend the extraordinary nature of the nation we are studying.

Writing this in early 2008, the answer is very unclear. In Brčko, the subject of the most focused and successful effort in the entire country to reintegrate, this question reaches its zenith. The conclusion of this book is that multi-ethnic Brčko is about to collapse. Were the partition theorists right? The arguments of partition theorists will haunt this book, and the efforts of the international community in post-war Bosnia must be measured against the alternative of partition that was rejected by the international community at some point between December 1995 and mid1998.

Upon the ceasefire, Serb forces occupied a significant proportion of what had been the Socialist Republic of Croatia under the SFRY. An area of eastern Slavonia, the area of north-east Croatia closest to the border with Serbia, was also in the hands of Serb forces, including the town of Beli Manastir (in the far north-east, close to the border between Serbia, Hungary and Croatia) and the city of Vukovar. Vukovar, on the river Danube border between Serbia and Croatia, had a mixed Croat and Serb population and had been the subject of a devastating Serb siege.

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