Agneza Bozic: Democratisation And Ethnopolitical Conflict: The Yugoslav Case

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1. Introduction I picked the topic of democratisation in connection with ethnicity in order to find out, whether there is some connection between them. For this end, I studied a chapter from the book Ethnicity and Democratisation in the New Europe, which is actually a case study of the former Yugoslavia. An ethnic group is a group of people, who share a special and continuous sense of identity that is based on the same experience, same history, regional identification, language, origin, and physical or racial features (Brown 1992: 66). Within one ethnic group ethnic nationalism can occur. Ethnic nationalism is a strong feeling of ethnic identity and the promotion of interests of this particular ethnic group, including sovereignty. Many ethnic groups in multi-ethnic states want, and sometimes demand, a bigger autonomy, which means at least some kind of self-management separated from the central authority (Nester 1995: 77–8). My question was in what way ethnicity is connected with democratisation. I believe that ethnic identity in multi-ethnic states can be operated with by political leaders in such a way, as to create ground (or become one of the main motives) for ethnic conflict. 2. Summary 2.1. The rise of ethnicity In the recent years the themes of nationality and ethnicity have gained importance and interest with students of political science, especially with those who study European politics. Since the coming power of Mikhail Gorbachev in 1985 Europe has witnessed some startling events – the disintegration of multi-national states, namely the Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia. One could say these countries re-enforced a trend of ethnical revival which first became apparent in Western Europe during the 1960s. Many of the successors to the three aforementioned multi-ethnic states have been created in accordance with a view of nationality which

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