The establishment of Balkan academic specialists in the West played a role in the 1990s wars that was every bit as inglorious as the role of the Western political establishment. This shameful legacy has cast a shadow over former-Yugoslavia studies in the West ever since [thread]
2) An institution such as the School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES) should have been a bastion of opposition to the genocide and to the West's collusion in it, but barring one or two honourable exceptions, the silence coming from its staff was deafening.
3) Former Yugoslavia academic experts from the Titoist and pro-Chetnik wings closed ranks vs Albanian, Croat and Slovene 'separatism' and Western military intervention. See Carole Hodge’s classic text ‘The Serb lobby in the UK’ balkanwitness.glypx.com/Hodge-SerbLobb…
4) An open letter by several SSEES staff, other UK Balkan experts and genocide apologists like John Pilger and Alfred Sherman appeared in 1999 demanding an end to NATO intervention in Kosovo, and blaming the EU for encouraging BiH and Croatia to secede: quaker.org/legacy/peacewe…
5) (other signatories listed at the link below). The people dominating former-Yugoslavia studies in the West today are those who sucked up to this establishment, and who seek to keep discourse relating to the 1990s war on a very tight leash. webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache…
6) An example of their pressure: c.13 years ago, as a director of Kingston Uni's Vane Ivanovic Library, I hosted the eminent Croatian scholar Ivo Zanic to give a talk entitled 'Making people commit genocide'. My fellow director, James Ker-Lindsay, approved the talk but..
7)…after complaints from two of the Ivanovic library external board members, Stevan Pavlowitch + Dejan Djokic, who didn't want anyone talking about genocide (particularly a Croat), he then repudiated it. Pavlowitch’s father was the personal secretary of convicted war-criminal..
8)…and Chetnik mentor Slobodan Jovanovic. Pavlowitch's favourite PhD dissertation, by his own testimony, was Dejan Jovic's Great Serbian study of Yugoslavia’s break-up, which dismissed the genocide as 'private violence' + 'private revenge'. Jovic's thesis was praised also...
9)…by Eric Gordy, and his political career in Croatia is promoted by Florian Bieber. This circle rose and survives by Daytonising study of the 1990s conflict, keeping it bland and uncontroversial enough to be acceptable to the constituencies it wishes to please:
10) a) the EU political establishment; b) liberal Serbian nationalists; and c) the still-influential, unreconstructed Yugonostalgic left. All three constituencies do not want the 1990s break-up, war and genocide investigated too closely.
11) Leading members of this circle therefore play a double game, balancing between pandering to these constituencies within academia while selling themselves to the wider public as principled opponents of nationalism and atrocities ‘on all sides’.
12) Typical of this spirit is Bieber’s lament about the supposedly excessive scholarly interest in the break-up of Yugoslavia, and plea for scholars to return to studying Titoist self-management and the rise of Yugoslav identity. h-net.org/reviews/showre…
13) The resulting academic establishment encourages conformism and discourages genuine intellectual enquiry, research and discussion regarding the 1990s break-up, war and genocide. To write freely about these topics, you have to bypass the establishment. [end]

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