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Transnational Foundation for Peace and Future Research


Welcome to use TFF materials
© 1986 till today - is an invitation to freely reprint, repost and disseminate any article provided you clearly acknowledge the source and make a link to the original article here.

Håkan Wiberg 1942-2010

Johan Galtung 1930-

Jan Oberg 1951-

When will we see monuments
for peace in ex-Yugoslavia?



A unique blog about a unique conflict

War broke out in former Yugoslavia in 1991. But the underlying conflicts - of the very complex set of conflicts - dated back to the early 1970s and, to the Second War.

Three TFF Associates - Johan Galtung, Jan Oberg and the late Hakan Wiberg - spent more than 125 "joint" years visiting, working in and analyzing the region with all its complexities. Altogether, they had published 2,000-3,000 pages in the form of debate articles, columns, book chapters and anthologies.

Years ago, the three Associates decided to pool their combined knowledge and analyses in one rather large blog "Yugoslavia: What Should Have Been Done?" which was published in autumn 2014 and is still, now and then, being updated with new posts.

The blog contains the equivalent of about 2500 A4 pages and all the materials are published as they were written at the time.

Bosnia's beauty, 2008

Sadly, in July 2010, fellow writer and dear friend Hakan Wiberg died. Fortunately, before his death, he had sourced and compiled his contributions to the project from his vast archive. Galtung and Oberg decided to continue the work both because of its intrinsic importance and now also in honour of Wiberg.

But what could justify yet another large analysis of Yugoslavia and its dissolution? We see basically two main reasons:

1) To provide a bit less diagnosis than others (but a different one) and focus more instead on prognosis and treatment. Hence the subtitle of the book.

2) To discuss the role and responsibility of the international community i.e. to evaluate the actions that were taken, and to consider what could have been done but wasn't as well as what the international community intentionally decided not to do.

Two further justifications could be advanced. The blog aims also to :

3) Highlight the Foundation's extensive research efforts, covering more than two decades, with a view to analyzing the success or failure of the predictions written back in the 1990s by the Associates.

In addition, TFF feels indebted to the numerous people all over former Yugoslavia who agreed to share their knowledge, personal history, views and sorrows.

4) Be useful to students of conflict and peace studies, as well as others.

The dissolution of Yugoslavia is a major case for those who study international conflicts and indeed probably the post-Cold War conflict that has impacted most upon Europe and other regions. Among other ideas, that of humanitarian intervention was coined to fit this case.

Together with Rwanda, Yugoslavia was also the object of a - very - special effort at international justice, namely the International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia (ICTY) which was established in 1993 and dissolved in December 2017.

The blog is one large and systematic counter-argument to the pervasive over-simplifying good-versus-evil dichotomy that has been applied so conveniently among politicians and mainstream media.

Then and now, it's a perspective that has recently been challenged by several later studies and by the evident (and predictable) malfunctioning of most of the West's so-called peace accords and more or less violently imposed solutions.

TFF sees the "Yugoslavia: What Should Have Been Done?" blog as an important public education task.

We continue to hope that the experiences from former Yugoslavia will eventually be taken into account whenever future humanitarian interventions, sanctions, military interventions, bombing campaigns, state-splitting, regime change and new state-formations are being considered as ways of handling future conflicts around the globe.

They are as unlikely to succeed elsewhere and today as they were back then in the case of former Yugoslavia.

Hospitality and homemade slivovitz
Many things are shared by people in former Yugoslavia