Explaining the Yugoslav Catastrophe: The Quest for a Common Narrative

Nationalist politicians and media fueled Yugoslavia’s bloody dissolution. Today the region’s peoples remain deeply divided by contradictory accounts of what happened.

  • What are the great controversies that divide Bosniaks, Croats, Serbs, Slovenes and Kosovars?
  • To what extent can the region’s scholars bridge the divide by forging a single, yet multilateral narrative?
  • What obstacles and other challenges must they confront?
  • What kind of an impact can such an approach have on the peace-building process in the Balkans? Elsewhere?


  • Judy Barsalou, U.S. Institute of Peace
  • Mile Bjelajac, Institute of Contemporary History, Belgrade
  • Darko Gavrilovic, University of Banja Luka
  • James Gow, King’s College, London
  • Ylber Hysa, Member, Kosovo Assembly
  • Charles Ingrao, Purdue University
  • Dusan Janjic, University of Belgrade
  • Matjaz Klemencic, University of Ljubljana
  • Julie Mertus, American University
  • Rodger Potocki, National Endowment for Democracy
  • Drago Roksandic, University of Zagreb
  • Gale Stokes, Rice University
  • Daniel Serwer, U.S. Institute of Peace

Audio Archive

The Scholars' Initiative:
Kosovo & the ICTY:
Roundtable Discussion: Problems & Prospects