chapter  2
The Future of History in the Balkans
Pages 8

This chapter reveals how decentralization in Yugoslavia may have facilitated the country's disintegration. After exploring the nature of regional economic nationalism in Yugoslavia, it examines the consequences of regional nationalism under Josip Broz Tito and the impact of the post-Tito economic collapse on the rise of nationalism. The chapter focuses on the economic dimensions of the Yugoslav conflict. The economic crisis during the 1980s revealed that the Yugoslav model of decentralization was not compatible with its desire to equalize regional development. The declarations of independence by Croatia and Slovenia, stemming in part from growing economic resentment, precipitated the calls for self-determination by ethnic Serbs in Croatia and later in Bosnia-Hercegovina (BH). Before the tribonationalists came to power, economic nationalism had been brewing within the various republics and provinces, peaking during times of economic decline. The goal of economic prosperity was so linked to the psyche of the Yugoslav mind that its procurement came at the high cost of democratic transformation.