Am ende des Sozialismus. (Persönliche) Überlegungen nach 30 Jahren am Beispiel Jugoslawiens

Djokic, Dejan. 2022. Am ende des Sozialismus. (Persönliche) Überlegungen nach 30 Jahren am Beispiel Jugoslawiens. Aus Politik und Zeitgeschichte / Politics and Contemporary History, 72(1-2), pp. 28-32. ISSN 0479-611X [Article]

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In 1991, as (Western) Europe was moving towards a greater integration, through the transformation of the European Community into the European Union the following year, two late socialist, multi-ethnic federations collapsed: the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia. Soon after, on 1 January 1993, they were joined by another one, Czechoslovakia, whose ‘velvet divorce’ was in sharp contrast to Yugoslavia’s violent ‘Balkan wars’, which lasted throughout the decade. Usually forgotten in this context is the German Democratic Republic, another socialist state which disappeared around the same time, allegedly due to the same principal reason, national self-determination and liberation, but this time going in the opposite direction – the unification, rather than fragmentation, of ‘Western’ and ‘Eastern’ Germanies in 1990. Why did these states collapse at the time when the victory of democracy, freedom (individual and collective) and multi-ethnic and multi-cultural co-existence seemed to announce the end of the Cold War, if not necessarily the End of History, as Francis Fukuyama famously stated at the time? How should we interpret these events 30 years later, what are their legacies and what, if anything, can we learn from the past at the time when Europe and the rest of the world face new challenges, including the rise of populist, right wing nationalisms, the ‘migrant crisis’, and the Covid-19 pandemic?

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3 January 2022Published
21 September 2021Accepted

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Date Deposited:

05 Nov 2021 16:05

Last Modified:

03 Jan 2022 15:25

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