Europe's recognition of new states in Yugoslavia remains one of the most controversial episodes in the Yugoslav crisis. Richard Caplan offers a detailed narrative of events, exploring the highly assertive role that Germany played in the episode, the reputedly catastrophic consequences of recognition (for Bosnia-Herzegovina in particular) and the radical departure from customary state practice represented by the EC's use of political criteria as the basis of recognition. The book examines the strategic logic and consequences of the EC's actions but also explores the wider implications, offering insights into European security policy at the end of the Cold War, the relationship of international law to international relations and the management of ethnic conflict. The significance of this book extends well beyond Yugoslavia as policymakers continue to wrestle with the challenges posed by violent conflict associated with state fragmentation.
'... a very impressive book which presents a carefully-constructed and well-documented argument about the EC's recognition policy. It will undoubtedly remain one of the best ever scholarly treatments of the making and implementation of that policy.' EUSA Review 'Germany's precipitous recognition of Croatian independence in December 1991 is commonly assumed to have worsened matters. Caplan steps back from this narrow formulation to assess recognition as a tool used by the Europeans, individually and collectively, to stem the violence under way in Croatia and head it off elsewhere. He carefully reconstructs the manner in which recognition was conditioned and then differentially applied in the cases of Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, and Kosovo. Along the way, in very thoughtful fashion, he considers how the strategic use of recognition fits with standard practice, broadly with international law, and still more broadly with theories of international relations.' Robert Legvold, Foreign Affairs 'This is a good, brief... book on all aspects of the European Community's recognition of the successor states to the former Yugoslavia in 1991-93 ... This is a carefully structured book ... Caplan explains what the European policy was and how it developed, steps back for two chapters to consider the theory and practice of the recognition of independent states, and then comes back to look at the practical consequences of the EU's actions, ending with a consideration of the effectiveness of conditionality in general in international relations and of the effectiveness of 'conditional recognition' in particular.' Nicholas Whyte, Survival 'Caplan presents and argues his analysis in a thorough and conclusive way, combing the Yugoslav cases with general aspects. This is an important contribution to the understanding of a crucial dimension in Europe's most recent history and the EC's response to the break-up of Yugoslavia and eventually the creation of new states. ... Caplan's valuable book can be recommended to everyone interested in the instrument of conditional recognition and the case of the new states of Yugoslavia.' Jorgen Kuhl, Political Studies Review '[A] useful addition to his work on international trusteeship ... Caplan's study of recognition and political conditionality is certainly a timely one.' David Chandler, International Affairs 'Caplan's book is informative, thought provoking, and well written. His study provides a good springboard for others interested in exploring the use of recognition as a political carrot or for scholars with a particular interest in the former Yugoslavia.' Comparative Political Studies