Edited by Derek L. Braddon and Keith Hartley
Chapter 18: The Economic Impact of the Conflict in the Balkans: The Case of Serbia
Derek L. Braddon, Jonathan Bradley and Paul Dowdall 18.1 INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND It has become virtually axiomatic that Balkan history has been turbulent. Conflict within the region has been endemic for centuries and the decade of the 1990s proved to be no exception, with Yugoslavia torn apart by an unusually violent and murderous civil war. Coincident as it was with the need for rapid post-Cold War transition, the economic effects of this conflict were catastrophic, not only for the constituent parts of that illfated republic but also for the entire region. Serbia, in particular, seen internationally as the principal protagonist behind the conflict, ultimately bore the brunt of reprisals, both in the form of economic sanctions and, in the last resort, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) military force. The focus of this chapter1 is on the economic consequences for Serbia of its engagement in the 1990s Balkan conflict, the scale of the economic damage that was experienced and the positive and negative factors associated with determining both the speed and degree of post-conflict economic recovery and transition. The principal research question to be addressed in this case study of Serbia is the scale of the economic impact of a long and bitter conflict on an economy in transition from state control to the market. This will include identifying, in particular: (1) what factors were responsible for the extreme decline of the Serbian economy following the break-up of Yugoslavia; (2) how post-conflict economic reconstruction has been pursued in Serbia since the...
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