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From regional role to global undertakings: Yugoslavia in the early Cold War

Rajak, Svetozar (2017) From regional role to global undertakings: Yugoslavia in the early Cold War. In: Rajak, Svetozar, Botsiou, K. E., Karamouzi, Eirini and Hatzivassiliou, E., (eds.) The Balkans in the Cold War. Security, conflict and cooperation in the contemporary world. Palgrave Macmillan, London, UK, pp. 65-86. ISBN 9781137439017

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Identification Number: 10.1057/978-1-137-43903-1_3


In 1945, Yugoslavia constituted itself as a socialist state. Its legitimacy derived from the most successful anti-Nazi resistance movement, under its charismatic leader, Josip Broz Tito, and the autochthonous social revolution carried out during the war of liberation. In the new reality of the world following a second global conflict, with the emerging ideological confrontation between two social systems, socialist and liberal capitalist, Yugoslavia firmly allied itself with its ideological paragon, Stalin’s Soviet Union. Within three years, however, Tito and the Yugoslav leadership had rebelled against Moscow’s tutelage, setting the stage for the first paradigm shift of the Cold War. The 1948 Soviet–Yugoslav break-up blurred, and eventually challenged, the fault lines of the Cold War. This chapter provides insight into how the policies of Yugoslavia and its leader, Tito, during the nascent Cold War contributed to paradigm shifts affecting the dynamics and structure of the Cold War system. It will focus on geostrategic implications, namely the 1948 Yugoslav–Soviet break-up, the Yugoslav military realignment that followed the split and the creation of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), which aspired to challenge the Cold War bipolarity. In exercising disproportionate activism in the international system, Yugoslavia was the only country of the region that harboured the ambition to play a global role. Its leadership saw it as the means to safeguard the country’s independence and security.

Item Type: Book Section
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2017 The Author
Divisions: International History
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D839 Post-war History, 1945 on
D History General and Old World > DR Balkan Peninsula
Date Deposited: 19 Jun 2017 14:32
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2023 10:04

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