The Balkanization of the West: The Confluence of Postmodernism and Postcommunism

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Routledge, 1994 - History - 226 pages
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In this passionate, vigorous and uncompromising book, Stjepan Mestrovic argues that, instead of reacting immediately and authoritatively to the horrible crimes against humanity in the former Yugoslavia, the world has acted the voyeur--passively watching, monitoring, observing, but taking no action to end the killings. The Balkanization of the Westtakes the lid off that confused Western response to the Balkan war.

The demise of communism that began in 1989 coincided with widespread discussion of postmodernism. But instead of leading to the end desired by postmodern theorists, namely tolerance, it has led to the genocide we are seeing in Ex-Yugoslavia. Furthermore, the brutal, current Balkan War may be a harginger of similar savagery about to erupt in the former Soviet Union, especially in its Southern frontiers and against its Muslim minorities. Mestrovic analyzes how postmodern media contributed to the current state of voyeurism to the point where genocide is tolerated. By attempting to solve the current Balkan War through pure negotiation and other "rational" means derived from these Enlightenment narratives, the west has placed its credibility on the line. Indeed, the current Balkan War is depicted by opinion-makers in the information media in frankly apocalyptic, post-modern terms, as the end of the EC, UN, NATO, American leadership, and civilization itself. Thus, the "real" war in the Balkans has been reduced to mere metaphors and euphemisms--Balkan tribalism, ethnic conflict, ethnic cleansing--while these same metaphors, paradoxically, seem to apply to the once seemingly unified West.

The Balkanization of the Westis aimed at a wide and interdisciplinary audience, and will be of great interest to all those who seek a thorough and complex evaluation of the ongoing events in the former Yugoslavia.

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About the author (1994)

Stjepan Mestrovic is professor of sociology at Texas A

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