EXITitis in Europe?

Yugoslavia as the First European Disunion

in Ethnologia Europaea
Author:
Robert M. Hayden University of Pittsburgh rhayden@pitt.edu

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Yugoslavia (YU), a multinational federation, collapsed into civil war and ultimate dissolution in 1991, exactly when the European Union (EU) was coming into existence as a multinational federation. What failed in YU, and is threatened in EU, is the concept of a federation composed of nation-states in the European sense of that term, in which the nation (as ethno-religious community) is sovereign in its own state (territory plus government). If the EU remains defined as a single polity of nation-states whose sovereignty is subordinated to regulatory processes from Brussels, which nationalists can charge are damaging to the interests of their particular ethno-nation’s control over their own state, its future seems as unpromising as was Yugoslavia under socialism.

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