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Central secession: towards a new analytical concept? The case of former Yugoslavia

Conversi, Daniele ORCID: 0000-0002-6618-2738 (2000) Central secession: towards a new analytical concept? The case of former Yugoslavia. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 26 (2). pp. 333-355. ISSN 1369-183X

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Identification Number: 10.1080/13691830050022839


Political literature customarily defines secession as a movement developing in the periphery against the centre. This article questions this common assumption by raising the possibility that secession may be propelled by the centre. A working definition of 'central secession' (or 'secessionism by the centre') will be limited to those cases where a powerful nationalist movement operates from within the core or dominant nation(ality). The focus will be on the break-up of Yugoslavia - the disintegration of which was consistently and widely perceived as a conflict of secessionist republics opposed by, and confronted with, a unitary state. A brief geo-political excursus of recent secessionist movements will serve to highlight the singularity of the Yugoslav 'model'. In the case of Serbia, the rhetoric was adamantly unitarian, anti-secessionist, even anti-nationalist. It emphasised the defence of territorial integrity at all costs. In this way, the centre could cast itself as the spotless saviour of the country's integrity versus a 'treacherous' periphery. In fact, the hidden agenda of the regime was ethnic separation - of Serbs from non-Serbs.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © Taylor & Francis
Divisions: Government
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
J Political Science > JC Political theory
D History General and Old World > DR Balkan Peninsula
Date Deposited: 23 Jan 2009 15:11
Last Modified: 15 May 2024 23:48

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