Political Memoirs, Myth, Policy, and the Wars of Yugoslav Secession

Cameron Whitehead

Abstract


An outpouring of academic interest in the collapse of Yugoslavia and the subsequent wars of secession has developed key areas of critical analysis to approach the subject. While much of this recent work has emphasized the importance of persistent myths about the region and its people, little work has conclusively demonstrated the correlation between these misconceptions and policy formation. The use of popular, political memoirs as historical sources has been lightly treated in recent historiography, suggesting a reluctance to critically engage with the genre or accept these texts as valid sources of information. This case study argues that the political memoirs surrounding the collapse of Yugoslavia and the subsequent wars of secession complicate the assumed relationship between widespread myths of the region and the formation of policy at the military and diplomatic level.

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