It has been two decades since Yugoslavia fell apart. The brutal conflicts that followed its dissolution are over, but the legacy of the tragedy continues to unsettle the region. Reconciliation is a long and difficult process that necessitates a willingness to work together openly and objectively in confronting the past. Over the past ten years the Scholars' Initiative has assembled an international consortium of historians, social scientists, and jurists to examine the salient controversies that still divide the peoples of former Yugoslavia. The findings of its eleven research teams represent a direct assault on the proprietary narratives and interpretations that nationalist politicians and media have impressed on mass culture in each of the successor states. Given gaps in the historical record and the existence of sometimes contradictory evidence, this volume does t pretend to resolve all of the outstanding issues. Nevertheless, this second edition incorporates new evidence and major developments that have taken place in the region since the first edition went to press. At the heart of this project has always been the insistence of the authors that they would continue to reconsider their analyses and conclusions based on credible new evidence. Thus, in this second edition, the work of the Scholars' Initiative continues. The broadly conceived synthesis will assist scholars, public officials, and the people they represent both in ackwledging inconvenient facts and in discrediting widely held myths that inform popular attitudes and the electoral success of nationalist politicians who profit from them. Rather than rely on special pleading and appeals to patriotism that have place in scholarship, the volume vests its credibility in the scientific credentials of its investigators, the transparent impartiality of its methodology, and an absolute commitment to soliciting and examining evidence presented by all sides.
Charles W. Ingrao is Professor of History at Purdue University. He has authored three books and edited five others on German, Habsburg, and Balkan history. He is Founding Editor of H-Net's HABSBURG discussion group and has served as editor of The Austrian History Yearbook (1997-2006).Thomas A. Emmert is Professor of History at Gustavus Adolphus College. He has held visiting appointments at Stanford and the University of Minnesota. Trained as a medievalist with a specialty in southeastern Europe, he has focused in recent years on nineteenth- and twentieth-century history in the same region.