tjir_v1n3tsp01 - The Continued Relevance of Sovereignty in...

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Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations, Vol.1, No.3, Fall 2002 64 The Continued Relevance of Sovereignty in a Globalising World: Yugoslavia and its Successor States Paul Tsoundarou* The end of the Cold War saw a rapid increase in the demands for statehood claimed by various ethnic groups and national minorities throughout the globe. The conflict and tension over ideology had come to an end after fifty years, and was replaced by a period of uncertainty and instability. The period between 1989 and 1999 was a turbulent decade for many people, including the regions of Eastern and South Eastern Europe, Central Africa, the Middle East and many parts of Asia. Contributing to the decade of instability and uncertainty was the demand by various ethnic and national groups to their own statehood. In order to establish the statehood these people desired, they would have to separate from the state they were citizens of, along with territory and the community they belonged, and declare a new independent state. In the case of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, federal entities which consisted of core national groups seceded from these two ‘super-states’ to form a number of smaller, independent states. For Yugoslavia, the process was tragic with hundreds of thousands of deaths which are attributed to the succession of wars accompanying the disintegration of the state. The Soviet model of disintegration was more varied, with the formal dissolution of the state being peaceful, but the loss of centralized authority resulting in numerous peripheral conflicts between the newly formed states as well as internal strife within them. What the collapse of these ‘super-states’ and the establishment of smaller states demonstrates is that
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Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations, Vol.1, No.3, Fall 2002 65 the concept of the state is still relevant, and that stateless national and ethnic groups make the dream of state-making and state-building a priority, whether or not the price is high. The desire for statehood has been evident since the Westphalian system became dominant. The international community currently consists of some 190 states, the largest number ever and an increase of some 23 states since 1989. That increase is primarily attributed to the collapse of the Soviet Union, which left fifteen newly independent states in the aftermath, Yugoslavia also contributed significantly with six successor states, Czechoslovakia was split into two successor states. The significant movements behind the establishment of these embryonic states, whether being nationalist or religion based, proved to be one of the most obvious problems in the current international political climate, and the expression of identity through the formation of states, in some instances through violent conflict, being the result. This paper will
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tjir_v1n3tsp01 - The Continued Relevance of Sovereignty in...

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