Misha Glenny is the author of The Balkans: Nationalism, War, and the Great Powers, 1804–1999. (July 2003)


The Death of Djindjic

“If anyone thinks that they will stop the rule of law and implementation of reform by eliminating me, then they are badly mistaken.” —Zoran Djindjic, February 24, 2003 Zoran Djindjic, the prime minister of Serbia, told his driver not to take his car into the underground parking lot …

Heart of Darkness

In March 1992 a year of political chaos in Albania was brought to an end when the Democratic Party, led by Dr. Sali Berisha, the country’s leading cardiologist, was swept to power with an overwhelming victory in parliamentary elections. After having suffered nearly half a century under the most oppressive …

Why the Balkans Are So Violent

Love Thy Neighbor: A Story of War

by Peter Maass
Nearly five years ago, I was taken to see the Svarc Hospital in Karlovac, a key military garrison town which defended the southern edge of the Habsburg Empire against the Ottomans until the end of the First World War. In July 1991, Karlovac was again a front-line town, this time …

The Birth of a Nation

Who Are the Macedonians?

by Hugh Poulton
On July 26, 1963, an earthquake leveled most of the pretty Ottoman city of Skopje, then the capital of the Socialist Republic of Macedonia. Tens of thousands of people were killed. One of the few survivors of the catastrophe was the façade of Skopje’s old railway station, whose large clock …

Yugoslavia: The Great Fall

Broken Bonds: Yugoslavia's Disintegration and Balkan Politics in Transition, second edition

by Lenard J. Cohen

The Yugoslav Drama

by Mihailo Crnobrnja
On June 21, 1991, Secretary of State James Baker spent a busy day in Belgrade talking to the presidents of Yugo-slavia’s six constituent republics, the federal prime minister, Ante Markovic, and the leaders of the Kosovo Albanians. He told the assembled group of malcontents, thugs, and unfortunates that the United …

Hope for Bosnia?

Dusk falls on the center of Sarajevo and two hundred ghostly figures, turned eastward, silently pass seven bodies from hand to hand before lowering them into another mass grave. The three imams offer up prayers on behalf of the dead. Inspired by these voices which seem to pierce Sarajevo’s shadows, …