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Elite Interests and the Serbian-Montenegrin Conflict.

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2003
<mark>Journal</mark>Southeast European Politics
Issue number2-3
Number of pages18
Pages (from-to)104-121
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


In ethnic conflicts, the behaviour of political elites constitutes an important variable, both in the outbreak of conflict and in attempts to find solutions. Insisting on the importance of elites does not imply, however, that elite interests are the only driving force: the elites operate in structures of constraints and opportunities. In this article, the conflict between Serbia and Montenegro is analyzed. The conflict began as a conflict over political and economic reforms, but during the course of the conflict it has acquired different characteristics. In this process, ethnicity has come to play a more important role. These developments are partly due to intentional elite behaviour, but the process of dissociation has also acquired its own momentum which constrains the elites. The article argues that elite interests, interplay between the elites in Belgrade and Podgorica as well as intra-‘ethnic’ dynamics have been crucial for the development of the conflict.