The Search for a Cold War Legitimacy: Foreign Policy and Tito's Yugoslavia


Titoist Yugoslavia is a particularly interesting setting to examine the integrity of the modern nation-state, especially the viability of distinctly multi-ethnic nation-building projects. Scholarly literature on the brutal civil wars that destroyed Yugoslavia during the 1990s emphasizes divisive nationalism and dysfunctional politics to explain why the state disintegrated. But the larger question remains unanswered—just how did Tito’s state function so successfully for the preceding forty-six years. In an attempt to understand better what united the stable, multi-ethnic, and globally important Yugoslavia that existed before 1991 Robert Niebuhr argues that we should pay special attention to the dynamic and robust foreign policy that helped shape the Cold War.

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Robert Niebuhr, Ph.D. (2009), Boston College, is an Honors Faculty Fellow at Arizona State University. He has published widely on topics ranging from modern Yugoslav history to aspects of the Chaco War.
All interested in the history of the Cold War, especially those who are curious to understand better the role of foreign policy in statecraft generally and in Titoist Yugoslavia specifically.
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