Slobodan Milošević and the construction of Serbophobia

David Bruce Macdonald

in Balkan Holocausts?

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print February 2003 | ISBN: 9780719064661
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781700198 | DOI:
Slobodan Milošević and the construction of Serbophobia

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This chapter focuses on the rise of Serbian nationalism and examines many of the important myths that evolved as a concomitant to it. It begins by exploring elements of the Battle of Kosovo, a battle fought between Serbian and Turkish forces on June 28, 1389, which ultimately resulted in Serbian subjugation to five centuries of Ottoman rule. Myths highlighting the glorious but tragic aspects of Serbian history were of central importance in legitimating the dismantling of the Yugoslav Federation, and the expansionist ambitions of Milošević and his colleagues. Kosovo, and more general myths of Golden Age and Fall, were instrumentalised first in the case of the Kosovar Albanians, and secondly, and more importantly, in the case of the Croats. As the conflict progressed, writers came to identify a Serbian version of anti-Semitism — ‘Serbophobia’ — a genocidal and expansionist strategy, supposedly used throughout history by Serbia's enemies. This chapter reviews the nineteenth- and early twentieth-century manifestations of Croatian ‘Serbophobia’, laying the basis for an analysis of World War II, Yugoslavia, and the more contemporary conflicts in Croatia and Bosnia-Hercegovina.

Keywords: Serbia; nationalism; Slobodan Milošević; Serbophobia; World War II; Yugoslavia; Kosovo; Croatia; Bosnia-Hercegovina; Battle of Kosovo

Chapter.  16357 words. 

Subjects: International Relations

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