In this passionate, vigorous and uncompromising book, Stjepan Mestrovic argues that, instead of reacting immediately and authoritatively to the horrible crimes against humanity in the former Yugoslavia, the world has acted the voyeur--passively watching, monitoring, observing, but taking no action to end the killings. "The Balkanization of the West" takes the lid off that confused Western response to the Balkan war.
The demise of communism that began in 1989 coincided with widespread discussion of postmodernism. But instead of leading to the end desired by postmodern theorists, namely tolerance, it has led to the genocide we are seeing in Ex-Yugoslavia. Furthermore, the brutal, current Balkan War may be a harginger of similar savagery about to erupt in the former Soviet Union, especially in its Southern frontiers and against its Muslim minorities. Mestrovic analyzes how postmodern media contributed to the current state of voyeurism to the point where genocide is tolerated. By attempting to solve the current Balkan War through pure negotiation and other "rational" means derived from these Enlightenment narratives, the west has placed its credibility on the line. Indeed, the current Balkan War is depicted by opinion-makers in the information media in frankly apocalyptic, post-modern terms, as the end of the EC, UN, NATO, American leadership, and civilization itself. Thus, the "real" war in the Balkans has been reduced to mere metaphors and euphemisms--Balkan tribalism, ethnic conflict, ethnic cleansing--while these same metaphors, paradoxically, seem to apply to the once seemingly unified West.
"The Balkanization of the West" is aimed at a wide and interdisciplinary audience, and will be of great interest to all those who seek a thorough and complex evaluation of the ongoing events in the former Yugoslavia.
..." a truly masterful and provocative argument ... Mestrovic's wide-ranging book must not be missed by students of Bosnia or theorists in the social sciences."
-B. J. Macdonald, Colorado State University
"On the threshold of the next century--a time that promises to be one of ethnic and religious violence dominated by media images--this gloomy but passionately and brilliantly argued "cri di coeur must be heard by those wishing to understand our troubled times."
-Akbar S. Ahmed, Cambridge University
"a daunting and original effort that earlier admirers of Stjepan Mestrovic's work will enjoy."