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Comit de rdaction
Ekaterina NIKOVA (rdacteur en chef)
Alexandre KOSTOV, Dobrinka PARUSHEVA, Rossitsa GRADEVA
Malamir SPASSOV (secrtaire scientifique du Comit de rdaction)

Comit scientifique international

Fikret Adanr (Sabanc University), Ivo Banac (Yale University),
Ulf Brunnbauer (Universitt Regensburg), Nathalie Clayer (CNRS, EHESS, Paris),
Nadya Danova (Bulgarian Academy of Sciences), Raymond Detrez (University of
Gent), Francesco Guida (University of Roma Tre), Wolfgang Hpken (Universitt
Leipzig), Ivan Ilchev (Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski), Pascalis
Kitromilidis (University of Athens), Ana Lalaj (Albanological Studies Center,
Tirana), Ljubodrag P. Ristic (Institute for Balkan Studies, Serbian Academy of
Sciences and Arts), Elena Siupiur (Institutul de studii sud-est europene, Academia
Romn), Vassilka Tpkova-Zamova (Bulgarian Academy of Sciences),
Maria Todorova (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign).

Revue trimestrielle dite par lInstitut dEtudes balkaniques &
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ISSN 0324-1654
Institut dEtudes balkaniques & Centre de Thracologie
TUDES ISSN 0324-1654

Sofia 2012 XLVIII 1




Yorgos CHRISTIDIS, The Party of Democratic Action in the Sandak

(Serbia): Establishment, Evolution and Political Aims, 1991-2010 ...... 3
Marin CONSTANTIN, Ethno-historical Traditions Among Minority
Ethnic Groups in Romania in the 2000s................................................. 26
Biser BANCHEV, How Balkanization replaced Lebanization during
the Break up of Yugoslavia .................................................................... 43
Yura KONSTANTINOVA, The Views of Eleftherios Venizelos on
the Balkan Policy of Greece (1910-1916) .............................................. 53
Theodora TOLEVA, Habsburg Influences in the Albanian Nation
Building Process, 1896 -1908................................................................. 80
Svetlozar ELDAROV, Instrumentalizing Celebration for Political
Purposes in the Unification of the Princedom of Bulgaria with Eastern
Rumelia .................................................................................................. 104
Ivaila POPOVA, The Balkans in the Eyes of Fifteenth-century West-
European Pilgrims .................................................................................. 120
Vladislav IVANOV, Sancta Unio or the Holy League 1332-36/37 as a
Political Factor in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Aegean ............. 142


Bobi BOBEV, Enver Hoxha: The First Biography Based on Docu-

ments from the Private Archives of the Dictator and on Accounts of
Those who Knew Him (Blendi Fevziu, Enver Hoxha) .......................... 177
Svetlozar ELDAROV, The Birth of a New State. The Republic of
Macedonia between Yugoslavism and Nationalism ( -
, .
) ............................................... 185

, - -
(Gergana DON-
CHEVA) ................................................................................................. 192
P. M. Kitromilides, Anna Tabaki (eds.), Greek-Bulgarian Relations in
the Age of National Identity Formation (Fotini CHRISTAKOUDI-
KONSTANTINIDOU) .......................................................................... 196
, , , ,
, , , . --
. .
. (Stavroula MAVROGENI, Konstantinos KATSANOS) .......... 199
Michael Mitsopoulos, Theodore Pelagidis, Understanding the Crisis
in Greece: From Boom to Bust (Ekaterina NIKOVA)........................... 204
Nicolas Hayoz, Leszek Jesien and Daniela Koleva (eds.), 20 Years
after the Collapse of Communism. Expectations, Achievements and
Disillusions of 1989 (Ekaterina NIKOVA) ............................................ 207


Roumiana PRESHLENOVA, Ninth Joint Meeting of Bulgarian and

North American Scholars in Eugene, Oregon ........................................ 212
Ekaterina NIKOVA, From Balkan Wars to Balkan Peace and EU In-
tegration .................................................................................................. 215

Call for Papers ........................................................................................ 217

Instructions for Contributors .................................................................. 218



Balkanization is the most frequently employed derivative of the

name of the Balkans. Born in the early 20th C., the term was revived by
the end of the same century. Paraphrasing a Bulgarian historian, the Bal-
kanization came back after the end of the Cold War, although it had actu-
ally never gone away. This article sets forward the thesis that the proc-
esses developing in former Yugoslavia after 1991 could be best described
by the term Lebanization (Lebanonization), but because of the specific
combination of media background and public moods they were presented
as Balkanization.
The discussion how to define the bloody disintegration of Yugo-
slavia might hardly be important for the thousands of casualties of the
conflict and their families; the conflict is over and its results are painfully
well known. But this discussion seemed quite relevant and even obliga-
tory in the days, when the storm was gathering momentum. Indeed, such
a discussion did happen in the early 1990s. The rapid development of the
Yugoslav crisis provoked a search for typological examples which could
illustrate the threats, as well as the possible solutions. It was therefore
quite explicable why various participants in the drama tried to prognosti-
cate the type of the conflict and its future development. Yet, these at-
tempts were seldom thorough or practical. Often the aim was just to at-
tract media attention. In retrospect, it is clear that the main purpose of
44 Biser BANCHEV

imposing specific terminology was to mobilize public support for certain

policies, and sporadically for certain politicians.
This was the atmosphere in which the nightmare of Balkanization
was revived and became part of the political thesaurus of the time. Bal-
kanization was first mentioned in public speech as early as 1990. Initially,
the term was not associated directly with a particular threat. It was rather
used by politicians as a well-known clich capable of colouring and accen-
tuating their speaking. Thus, when the last Yugoslav prime minister Ante
Markovi met his Bulgarian colleague Andrey Lukanov in Ni in 1990, the
message was: with common efforts we should achieve Europeanization
of the Balkans and not the Balkanization of Europe1.
Another element of the process of actualization of Balkanization re-
mained recorded just as a footnote. For a short time, in the early 1990s the
Yugoslav events were also characterized by the notion of Lebanization.
Maria Todorovas influential book Imagining the Balkans provides a good
example of the clash of the two notions: she claims that an article, published
in the Sarajevo newspaper Oslobodjenje on 23 September 1990, revived the
notion Balkanization on an analytical level. According to Todorova, Bal-
kanization entered the political thesaurus as a synonym of the then popular
Lebanization, standing for disintegration accompanied by bloodshed2.
The topic entered the general discussion on the future of Eastern
Europe. The same combination of choices between theoretical models
could be observed in the other federation affected by a structural crisis
the Soviet Union. In one of his numerous speeches to the Soviet Parliament
Gorbachev forewarned of eventual Lebanization of the Soviet territory in
case the reforms were not carried along the right way3. In a counter-speech,
Colonel Alksnis, Member of Parliament of the conservative wing, made a
stand against him by raising the idea of Balkanization. Yet, a careful read-
ing of both speeches would reveal a desire to impress the audience by a
catchy phrase rather than a thorough analysis of the problems4.
Bulgarian Telegraph Agency (BTA), 30 May 1990.
See M. N. Todorova, Imagining the Balkans. Oxford University Press, New York,
2009, . 53.
G. Hosking, The Awakening of the Soviet Union. Cambridge, MA, Harvard Univer-
sity Press, 1991, p. 209.
See the correspondence in: , 22.11.1990, N 13562.

As a rule, many widely circulated media notions appear to be self-

explanatory: it is generally believed that the public knows what they
mean. Often, politicians and journalists take advantage of this circum-
stance. The case mentioned above is not an exception. A quick look at
the reference books proves that. As mentioned above, Maria Todorova
presented the various interpretations of Balkanization and summarized
them as the process of nationalist fragmentation of former geographic
and political units into new and problematically viable small states 5.
Lebanization is less quoted in the encyclopedias and political glos-
saries. Yet, considering the growing number of scholarly writing which
readily invokes Lebanization or Lebanonization, it has now become part
of the regular lexicon of social science terminology. Larousse, the fa-
mous French dictionary, might have well been the first to introduce in
1991 Lebanotation formally into the French language with the meaning
of a process of fragmentation of a state, as a result of confrontation be-
tween diverse communities6. German authors are most detailed; under
the name of Lebanese conflict they define: A model of various mosaic
fragmented religious communities highly distinguished politically and
socially and autonomously self-organized between which the tension
grows so very complicated as a result of social crisis interpreted within
the traditional frames of a religious conflict, that the capacity for com-
promise of the relevant elites becomes exhausted and leads to a civil
war7. Other researchers say the same thing in fewer words: a situa-
tions where the state has lost control of law and order and where many
armed groups are contending for power8.
In a word, the two notions are both similar and different. To express it
in simple terms, Balkanization means hostility between neighbouring states,
and Lebanization an internal strife. Quite intentionally, media prefer the
spectacular intensity of Balkanization. To the contrary, experts and special-
ists in international relations seem to prefer to use the term Lebanization. Till

Todorova. Imagining, . 32.
Cited in: S. Khalaf, Civil and Incivil Violence in Lebanon: A History of the Interna-
tionalization of Human Contact. New York, 2002, . 11.
Lebanon Konflikt, In: Wrterbuch zur Politik Pieper, Mnchen Zrich, 1984, s. 302.
Khalaf. Civil and Uncivil, . 11.
46 Biser BANCHEV

1990 the Lebanization was considered a standard example of a complicated

ethnic conflict. Henry Kissinger, for instance, compared the conflicts in Cy-
prus and Lebanon regarding the degree of complexity, and illustrated it with
the correlation between the elementary algebra and higher mathematics9.
Interestingly, the Portugal Ambassador to Bulgaria, a close observer of the
Balkan scene, did not expect the situation to become as bad as to reach the
level of Lebanization: It is not Lebanon of 1960s and 1980s, they said
in 1990 and 1991 for Croatia, Krajina, Bosnia and Herzegovina10.
This kind of speaking came as an answer to the first warnings of
the threat of Lebanization of Yugoslavia. On 25 January 1990 the Presi-
dent of Slovenia Janez Stanovnik shared his own fears with the visiting
American diplomat Laurence Eagleburger. Ambassador Warren
Zimmermann, who was also present at the meeting, later wrote: Stanov-
nik told him that Yugoslavia would pass through a tough period "but will
not easily fall apart". On specifics the Slovene president seemed less op-
timistic. He lamented, "Yugoslavs are abandoning class thinking only to
replace it by nationality thinking". For Slovenia he predicted that the
April elections would produce a non-communist government there that
would work for secession. From his lips we heard for the first time a
word soon to take on a nightmarish reality: "Lebanonization".11.
Lebanization is a term well known and popular among journalists
and experts. It was in active use particularly in 1975-1990. Lebanization is
related to the geographical region of the Near East but, just like the Bal-
kans, it is difficult to delineate precisely. During the period mentioned,
Lebanon had become a symbol of chaos, confusion, and irreconcilable con-
tradictions between religious and ethnic communities12. It was viewed as a
dangerous model that might spread all over the world13. In 1984 the Presi-

H. Kissinger, Years of Renewal. New York, 1999, p. 1020.
10 . . , : E . ,
1997, . 143.
W. Zimmermann, Origins of a Catastrophe: Yugoslavia and Its Destroyers. New
York, 1999, . 58.
L. Trgovevi, O istorijskoj promenljivosti Balkana kao politike, Tokovi istorije,
2007, No 1-2, . 216.
The Lebanization of the World, In: J.-M. Guhenno, The End of the Nation-State.
Minneapolis, London, 1995, . 35-45.

dent of the United States Ronald Reagan described Lebanon as a powder

keg the metaphor that is usually characteristic of the Balkans.
Until 1990 Lebanon, as well as the entire Near East, focused the at-
tention of international media and political analysts. It was exactly in this
region, during the Kuwait crisis of 19901991, that the future media em-
pire of CNN was born and established as a leading opinion driver. For
the war correspondents the dissolution of Yugoslavia in 1991 offered the
next battle field of activities. Lebanization was replaced by Balkaniza-
tion. The mechanism of shifting the interest from the Near East to the
Balkans worked surprisingly smoothly. Many of the leading journalists,
whose star career began in Kuwait City and Baghdad, in the course of the
following years moved on to Zagreb and Sarajevo.
The oscillation between the two terms can be illustrated with examples
from the Bulgarian political language. During the development of the conflict
in Yugoslavia, the Bulgarian official representatives apprehended Lebaniza-
tion exactly in the sense of the worst possible scenario. President Zhelyu
Zhelev used the term in discussions with diplomats as the aforementioned
Ambassador Ferreira and during personal meetings with politicians from the
West. During his visit to the U.S., he warned that the events in Yugoslavia
would become even more dangerous; he pleaded for a more decisive in-
volvement of the UN and the EC in order to avoid not Balkanization but a
Balkan Lebanon, confronting ethnic and religious communities rather than
states. Unfortunately, the grimmest prognoses for the future of the Yugoslav
Federation came true. And the wars most tragic episode happened exactly in
Bosnia and Herzegovina the country that was most similar to Lebanon14.
The media were quick to label Sarajevo as the Balkan Beirut15.
What happened in Bosnia was the worst variation of Lebanization
since the temporary dissolution of central control in Lebanon was the
result of competing groups trying to dominate the state, while in Bosnia it
was not dominance that was the bone of contention, but rather the very ex-
istence of the state16. Although the conflict developed further; nonethe-
See: F. Bieber, Bosnia-Herzgowina und der Libanon im Vergleich. Historische
Entwiklung und Politisches System vor dem Brgerkrieg, Sinzheim, 1999.
R. Flottau, Beirut auf dem Balkan, Der Spiegel, 1995, No 49, s. 159-162.
F. Bieber, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Lebanon: Historical Lessons of Two Multirelig-
48 Biser BANCHEV

less, it was classified as Balkanization, which cast a shadow on the entire

geographical region. As Maria Todorova points in particular, during the
second half of the 20th century the term had already broken away from the
context of the international relations to become an attribute saturated with
feelings of danger. Without fighting, Bulgaria automatically was consid-
ered involved in the war if not by the political analyzers, for sure by the
public opinion, and even more important, by the financial circles in the
West. As a result, the Bulgarian economy suffered heavy losses.
Lebanization was identified as a threat for the Bulgarian society, too.
A keen observer, Ambassador Ferreira shared the same opinion: During
the months of transition Bulgaria was performing in so many various
spheres, some conditions emerged for the composite parts to fuse in such a
way that the situation picked up speed and could go beyond any control thus
involving the country in total opposition as in Lebanon where both Ma-
ronite and Druze had been living together for years, and then the massacre
came to dig a deep precipice between both large communities17.
Bulgaria had just overcome the crisis with the Bulgarian Muslims
from 1984 1989, known as the Revival Process. On the eve of the parlia-
mentary elections on October 13th 1991, President Zhelev appealed to the
nation. He reminded of the events in Yugoslavia and the Soviet Republics
whatsoever attempt to solve the questions of ethnic and religious self-
determination by undemocratic means would only confuse it Lebaniza-
tion was not mentioned, although its characteristics were clearly stated. In
contrast to the active employment of Lebanization in the international field,
it was hardly presented to the Bulgarian society18. The notion was used as
late as in early 1992 during the personal election campaign of the President.
It seems that the notion of Lebanization was often mentioned in the
statements of the President and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, as well as
within the journalists texts, but it was never defined. Obviously, it was
generally believed that the notion was quite familiar to the public. In

ious, Third World Quarterly, 2000, No 2, p. 270.

, , . 143.
See in detail: . , -
1991. , 2005, No 3, . 88 91.

1980s Bulgaria was involved in the Lebanese conflict, although indirectly.

As to the media, there was a particular Lebanese school in the Bulgarian
journalism. The most active correspondent from wartime Yugoslavia, Eli
Yurukova, did not hesitate to put a headline Bosnia and Herzegovina
Facing Lebanization19, without any further elucidation. Researchers and
historians proceeded in the same way. In a very precise analysis the then
doyen of the Bulgarian Balkan Studies, Academician Nikolay Todorov,
described the ethnic and religious mosaic on the Balkans, and the possibil-
ity that the tensions connected with the non-recognition of national mi-
norities could lead to an explosion. The Lebanization again remains only
in the title20.
Remarkably, the use of the term Lebanization has been quite uni-
versal. This is a rare case of using a certain notion without any hesitation
and contradictions regarding its meaning. It coincides also with the
meaning given by the world authorities. Writing on the Lebanese con-
flict, Henry Kissinger illustrates it with the number of hostile fractions in
Lebanon a whole tangle of groups at least four on the Muslim side
and three on the Christian, each of which was supported byoutside
power21. As a factor for the Lebanese conflict, Kissinger points the
breach of world balance of power because of the crisis in one of the Great
Power the U.S. in 1975, after the resignation of President Nixon and
the defeat in Vietnam. By the same token, in 1991 the uneasiness caused
by the collapse of the USSR could be detected in all analyses of the proc-
esses in Eastern Europe and Yugoslavia. Kissinger suggests a prognosis
for the end of all similar conflicts the solutions were more likely to ap-
pear after the final victory of one of the sides or as a consequence of their
mutual exhaustion. Kissingers prognosis is valid for all classical inter-
state wars, yet in the case of a civil war it acquires a rather sinister mean-
ing. Kissinger specifies one more aspect of the conflict in Lebanon
each of the fighting sides had its own outside supporter. Academician
Nikolay Todorov spells the same for Bosnia in 1992.
, 10.04.1992, No 662.
. , ? ,
21.12.1992, No 31 and 11.01.1993, No 2.
Kissinger, Years of, p. 1020.
50 Biser BANCHEV

A Yugoslav author discussing the subject comes to the conclusion that

Balkanization of Yugoslavia is far preferable to its Lebanization22.
Concerned directly with putting an end to the conflict, Branka Magas wants
to see it developing as a true Balkan one because in this case alone outsiders
would intervene and resolve it. This opinion was in a sharp contrast to Bul-
garias official position. Albanian representatives also stressed the necessity
to prevent the Lebanization on the Balkan Peninsula23.
From the point of view of the outside observer, Balkanization un-
doubtedly presents a greater threat. It involves a couple of states and
might lead to a chain involvement of others. In this case, the warring
sides rely on the Great Powers for help. The analytical commentary is
unconditional: At the beginning of the conflict there was a risk of ex-
panding outside the borders of the collapsing Federation and transform-
ing it into a Balkan war It is not strange, therefore that the outside
factors would prefer Lebanization: it remains for home consumption
only. According to the same author, since the U.S. arguments for the air
attacks against the Serbian lines in Bosnia and Herzegovina proved to be
unconvincing for their European allies in 1993, President Bill Clinton
staked on keeping the conflict within the existing geographical limits 24.
This was an approach typical towards processes of Lebanization.
Gradually, the situation on the ground became more complicated as
four of the former Yugoslav republics declared independence. The con-
flict in Bosnia continued to be of a Lebanese type. Yet, as it expanded fur-
ther and with the eventual involvement of Serbia and Macedonia it was
now acquiring the characteristics of a Balkan war. It was getting more and
more difficult to support the thesis of Lebanization. The statement of
President Zhelev in the respected German Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
was based upon the opposition of Balkanization versus Europeanization
prevailing in the West25. Bulgarian efforts followed the only one possible

B. Magas, Balkanization or Lebanization? The Destruction of Yugoslavia:
Tracking the Break-Up 1980-92. London, New York, 1993, p. 346-350.
Council of Europe, Parliamentary Assembly, Forty-fourth ordinary session, Official
Report of debates. Strasbourg, 1993, p. 771 (3 February 1993).
. , . , 1998, . 47, 81.
, 09.08.1992.

direction to present the crisis as a Yugoslav, and not as a Balkan one.

The failure of these efforts was easy to predict. Neither Bulgaria, nor any
other Balkan country was in a position to influence public opinion. In the
early 1990s the reading audience were impressed by books like Balkan
Ghosts by Robert Kaplan, The Third Balkan War by Misha Glenny (the
latter as a subtitle of the book The Fall of Yugoslavia) and Balkan Trag-
edy by Susan Woodward. All publishers knew: Balkan,Balkanization
sold well26. Maria Todorova summarizes that the non-Yugoslav Balkans
talked about a Yugoslav war or war in Croatia and Bosnia, while the West
increasingly stressed the notion of a Balkan war27. Very few people out-
side the region could figure out the delicate difference. Thus, Janusz
Bugajski, Head of the East European Department of the Washington Cen-
ter for Strategic and International Studies, during his visit to Sofia in
1995, explained to an understanding audience that he was speaking about
the war in the Balkans, and not of the Balkan war28.
Bulgarian efforts were focused in another direction: the country as-
pired to be recognized as a stabilizing factor in the Balkans. It meant
that Bulgaria would give no motive whatever for the transformation of
the Yugoslav conflict into a Balkan war. All Bulgarian politicians, irre-
spective of their rank and party affiliation, maintained this position until
1995. President Zhelev was one of them; nonetheless, in his memoirs he
sticks to his initial evaluations and writes again on the avoided danger of
transforming the Balkans into a second Lebanon29.
Going back to the theoretical discussion, the conflict in Bosnia had
developed and ended up along the classical scheme of Lebanization. The
Dayton peace imposed a political decision of Lebanization known under
the term of cantonization. It had been in operation since the mid-19th cen-
tury and European diplomacy knew it pretty well. For instance, the Berlin
Treaty of 1878 provided that Eastern Rumelia was to be divided into can-

R. Kaplan, Balkan Ghosts. A Journey through History. New York, 1993; M.
Glenny, The Fall of Yugoslavia: The Third Balkan War. New York, 1993; S. Woodward,
Balkan Tragedy. Chaos and Dissolution after the Cold War. Washington, D. C., 1995.
Todorova. Imagining, . 186.
, 10.05.1995, No 1601.
. , . , 1998, . 93, 102.
52 Biser BANCHEV

tons according to national and religious identification. The cantonization

format was also discussed as a possible solution to the Kosovo problem.
Lebanization is still in use by some experts and journalists; how-
ever, it is confined to the Near East region where lately there are talks
about the Lebanization of Iraq. Recently, Macedonian politicians tried to
represent the internal conflict of 2001 as a Lebanization of Macedonia30.
Balkanization however remains a popular and widespread notion.
The opposition Lebanization versus Balkanization has not been
quite solved in South Eastern Europe. We can cautiously specify the ter-
minology: what happened in 1991-1992 was the Balkanization of Yugo-
slavia; in 1992-1995 this was the Lebanization of Bosnia. In 2008 the
independence of Kosovo was a clear sign of Balkanization, but Bosnia
and Herzegovina continues to be Lebanized and this remains the gravest
problem of the so called Western Balkans.
The fact that today the discussion of Balkanization or Lebanization
is not revived means that either the disintegration of the Yugoslav Fed-
eration is accepted unanimously or that simply there is no desire to dis-
cuss the issue. We believe the second hypothesis is the valid one. The
researchers community resignedly accepts the use of Balkanization and
was not particularly impressed, when Zbigniew Brzezinski imposed it on
the entire Eurasian space. Thus, instead of Balkan Lebanon we already
have Eurasian Balkans.
All pointed above demonstrates the enduring vitality of Balkaniza-
tion. Invented by politicians and journalists, the term was later on put
into the frames of a definition by researchers. But then, on various occa-
sions, journalists again set Balkanization free of its original definition.
Today the Balkanization covers far wider territories replacing the more
specific Lebanization.
The only ones to benefit from this substitution are the Lebanese
themselves who are no longer the scarecrows of world media.

J. Filips, Macedonia. Warlords & Rebels in the Balkans. Bodmin, 2004, p. 194.
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