The Hour of Europe

Western Powers and the Breakup of Yugoslavia

Josip Glaurdic

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December 6, 2011
432 pages, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
4 b/w illus.
ISBN: 9780300166293
Cloth

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By looking through the prism of the West's involvement in the breakup of Yugoslavia, this book presents a new examination of the end of the Cold War in Europe. Incorporating declassified documents from the CIA, the administration of George H.W. Bush, and the British Foreign Office; evidence generated by The Hague Tribunal; and more than forty personal interviews with former diplomats and policy makers, Glaurdić exposes how the realist policies of the Western powers failed to prop up Yugoslavia's continuing existence as intended, and instead encouraged the Yugoslav Army and the Serbian regime of Slobodan Milošević to pursue violent means.

The book also sheds light on the dramatic clash of opinions within the Western alliance regarding how to respond to the crisis. Glaurdić traces the origins of this clash in the Western powers’ different preferences regarding the roles of Germany, Eastern Europe, and foreign and security policy in the future of European integration. With subtlety and acute insight, The Hour of Europe provides a fresh understanding of events that continue to influence the shape of the post–Cold War Balkans and the whole of Europe.

Josip Glaurdić received his Ph.D. from Yale and is junior research fellow at Clare College, University of Cambridge. He divides his time between Cambridge, UK, and Münster, Germany.

The Hour of Europe is a splendid book which makes a major contribution to the scholarship about the Yugoslav breakup and the Western response, and shatters persistent illusions about those subjects…Glaurdić’s book is a masterpiece.”—Sabrina P. Ramet, Professor of Political Science, The Norwegian University of Science & Technology; author of The Three Yugoslavias

"Glaurdić’s book is a remarkably complete and original study of the dissolution of Yugoslavia, but it is much more than that. By steadily broadening his scope of examination to include European and American diplomatic actors, the author demonstrates the limits of 'realism' and the contradictions of a supposedly common European project. Glaurdić’s collapsing Yugoslavia is therefore a laboratory of conventional foreign policies, created as they were by leaders who ignored facts and intelligence reports in favor of the chimera of 'security.'"—Ivo Banac, Bradford Durfee Emeritus Professor of History, Yale University

"…this is the best serious, comprehensive, scholarly analysis of the role of the West - specifically, of the US, European Community and UN - in the break-up of Yugoslavia."—Marko Attila Hoare, Greater Surbiton (Online Blog)

"[Glaurdic’s book is] impressively researched, well written, carefully documented and closely reasoned."—Survival

"[A] major contribution… Glaurdic draws on a vast and wide array of source material, much of it new… including U.S. and British documents he obtained through Freedom of Information requests, witness testimonies at the Milosevic trial in The Hague… and a large number of interviews that Glaurdic conducted, in addition to his impressive command of the existing scholarship… Glaurdic has written a very important book that deserves a place on any shelf of essential books about the breakup of Yugoslavia."—Richard Caplan, H-Diplo Roundtable Review

"Far and away the most well-researched account of the policies which motivated the major powers during the crisis leading up to and beyond the actual dissolution of Yugoslavia."—Jasmin Mujanovic, Balkan Insight, 2012

"The Hour of Europe is among the most important scholarly works on the demise of Yugoslavia to appear since the country was torn apart by a series of brutal wars in the 1990s. Josip Glaurdic’s magisterial study… is the most complete and systematic account to date of the impact that western policies had on the various Yugoslav actors."—Toby Vogel, European Voice