Ethnic conflict, disputed borders, forced migration and foreign intervention scarred the countries from Romania south to Greece during the decades surrounding the two world wars. The bloody break-up of the former Yugoslavia, and the region's wider struggles with a post-Communist transition, suggest continuing Balkan burdens for the peoples and states of a region which has traditionally been seen as separate from Europe. Yet the advance of Bulgaria and Romania to join Slovenia and Greece as members of the European Union, with prospects now pending for Croatia and the rest of the region, is the latest and most positive in a series of larger connections to the Continent. John R. Lampe traces the history of Southeastern Europe across the twentieth century, from the explosive mixture of Balkan states and imperial borderlands before the First World War, through the trials that their successors faced during two world wars, the Cold War, and finally the wars of Yugoslavia's dissolution. His fresh look at the full twentieth century connects these wartime decades to the postwar transitions that followed, finding their main features, for good or ill, distinctly European.
Lampe argues that not only the destructive ethnic nationalism and authoritarian regimes of the 1990s, but also the more recent rise of political pluralism and liberal market reforms, have their roots in European ideologies and institutions. Readable and authoritative, this is an essential introduction to the recent history of a troubled region.
Table of Contents
List of Maps and Tables Preface Introduction: Transitions at the Turn of Two Centuries Balkan States and Borderlands Before the Balkan Wars Balkan Wars, First World War, Postwar Settlements, 1912-1922 Struggling with Liberal and National Transitions in the 1920s Illiberal Directions During the Depression Decade Second World War, Civil War, and the Communist Advantage Communist and Cold War Transitions, 1945-1963 Continuity and Contradictions, 1964-1989 Wars and Transitions since 1989 Bibliography Index
JOHN R. LAMPE is Professor of History at the University of Maryland, College Park, USA.