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Background: Tito's Yugoslavia | CES at UNC |

This module provides a brief historical analysis of Yugoslavia, the key role it played as a buffer zone between the West and East during the Cold War and the consequences of this for domestic politics in Yugoslavia. Under the leadership of Josip Broz Tito, who ruled from 1945 until his death in 1980, Yugoslavia's unique geopolitical situation allowed the socialist country to maintain internal cohesion while suppressing nationalistic movements within its constituting six republics (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Slovenia, and Serbia) and two autonomous provinces (Kosovo and Vojvodina).

The end of the Cold War changed the international system and its balance of powers rather drastically. Although the Cold War brought about many crises within the Western and the Communist bloc and in the third-world, it created a very stable division of power in Europe. Both the USSR and the U.S. had formed competing blocs, NATO and the Warsaw Pact, to balance each other and exert control over their half of Europe. Crises erupted sporadically within the Warsaw Pact. NATO, however, did not interfere in the internal affairs of the Soviet satellites, since the U.S. was committed to containing the USSR rather than confronting it.

In this well-balanced geopolitical environment, Yugoslavia played an essential role. Its geographic position enabled it to serve as a buffer between the two opposing blocks. Yugoslavia was a socialist state, but it did not side with either of the superpowers. Instead, it maintained its role as an independent socialist state following the uncompromised Marxist-Leninist principles. Because of its highly popular leader, Marshall Bros Tito, and his political acumen, Yugoslavia was able to maintain its independence and, at the same time, reap the benefits of the fierce competition between the two blocks.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Wed May 31st, 2023 at 05:49:17 PM EST
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