Unity and instability are known to be significant causes of the fall of civilizations and states across the globe. Civilians end up losing their lives and wealth because of the consequences of these struggles. Yugoslavia is no longer a democracy after many shocks from local and foreign sources, and the region has broken. Civilians are adversely affected as social justice is abused. The Albanians have been the most affected civilians since they were violently displaced from their localities. The success of a state does depend on the achievement of a leader but rather the nature during their rule (Axelrod 33).
Collapse of Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia experienced a series of challenges that threatened its existence and the peace of the people in and around it. Some of its pressure originated from citizens were not satisfied with the current state of affairs and as a result protested for changes. In 1987, there was a rise in tension as more Yugoslavian states continued to complain of mistreatments; Albanians being a majority among the population. Slobodan Milosevic who was the leader of Yugoslavia visited one of the agitated states and addressed these challenges by taking their outcry to the streets (Djilas 81). When these protestors learned that Milosevic was in a nearby building, they stormed the building out of excitement. Police started beating them and evacuating them from the building. When Milosevic learned that protestors were being beaten, he joined them and shouted, “No one has the right to beat you” (Djilas 99). These simple words made Milosevic famous and later allowed him to gain popularity across the nation of Serbia. At this point he was serving all citizens equally only later did he start to separate the Yugoslavians on an ethnic basis.
Yugoslavians had already begun to collapse by the time Milosevic was taking over leadership in the country. The Yugoslavian Federation Party was also falling apart since there were vast disagreements among Serbia’s communists. The party members had different thoughts regarding their country. However, peace was restored in the autonomous Kosovo state after Milosevic and other protestors’ demonstrations began spreading in other states. At this time, Milosevic was serving as “man of the people” in the Serbian leadership since he was the most outspoken Serbian champion.
The collapse of Yugoslavia is said to be one of the most disorderly dissolutions witnessed in the history of nations (Flere 89). First, this breakaway was coupled with dynamics that disoriented the functions of government and the country’s leadership. Milosevic delegated most of his administrative duties to militias who were then fighting in Croatia and Bosnia. He tried to enlarge the Serbian country by fighting with neighboring states to expand his territories. Unfortunately, he lost international aid that he was receiving from the United Nations who though his actions were ruthless and his ideas were “malicious and destructive” (Gottlieb et al 34).
Pressure shifted from the civilians to the international community. The UN was the first international body to impose sanctions on the Serbian nation. Intervention strategies were conducted in an air base in Ohio to regain peace as Milosevic attempted to retain his reputation. However, the international community alienated themselves from Milosevic because they considered him the main cause of the crimes committed by the militias.
Effects of the social problems
Civilians are the most common victims of a country’s social issues. The American based organization, NATO claimed that the impact of the Yugoslavian was destructive. Some of these effects were marked by a series of military success and other political failures. At one time, the Chinese embassy in Serbia was a victim of these destructive fatal miscalculations. Civilians were killed in these attacks as the Milosevic government continued to fight other states in the name of “ethnic cleansing”. His army was evicting people from these regions and more so people of a certain ethnicity. NATO carried out several bombings as an attempt to lure these militias to stop their operations against civilians. Most of these bombings took place in Kosovo, which led to the loss numerous lives and displacement of thousands out of their homes.
International humanitarian bodies play the role of protecting the lives of civilians once they are risked by actions of a state or external forces. Bill Clinton was the U.S. president during these political shocks experienced in Serbia. He was at the forefront of protecting Albanians in Kosovo where they were evicted and some killed by the Serbian militias. These activities took place during the Cold War era when nations were dealing with geographical tensions caused by the II World War. Clinton worked with NATO to help save lives of these people. The actions of Clinton and NATO were thus practiced by other humanitarian organizations such as the United Nations since the Serbian government resisted other organizations that attempted to stop its progress (Schimmelfenning 32). The international community claimed that the Yugoslavian government violated several human rights. Forced eviction and mass murder were among the worst crimes the Yugoslavian government was accused of. The Serbian government treated Albanians in a way that was considered against humanity and standards of quality life. Secondly, the misuse of power by a state was considered as first class violation of civilian rights. UN argued that the Yugoslavian government used its power to violate the role of government of protecting the lives of people. Unfortunately, the Serbian government may go unpunished by the international law since NATO acted without informing the United Nations (Gottlieb et al 36).
Other good examples of nations that collapsed due to bad leadership similarly to Yugoslavia include the following.
Bolivia: Exploitation of political institutions
Bolivia is recognized for its extractive institutions since historical Spanish times, which has caused life-long hatred. In 1952, Bolivian citizens formed a revolution to overthrow traditional elites who owned the country’s land and mines. The revolution leaders were urbanites who felt unfairly excluded from political power and leadership formed by the traditional regime. These leaders overthrew the previous government, possessed most of the mines and land, and formed a party called the Revolutionary Nationalist Movement (RNM). At first, RNM established equality and created equal education opportunities for Bolivians but over the years, the party began to corrupt the political rights it had set in 1952. Towards the end of the 19760s, inequality in Bolivia was significantly higher than it had been during the traditional regime.
Therefore, the revolution movement did not save Bolivia from political exploitation but actually heightened the problem because one elite society was simply replaced by another. Due to political exploitation, Bolivians lacked property rights in fact, they were forced to sell their votes so that they could acquire land and get access to credits and work. The same exploitation was practiced by RNM after overthrowing the traditional elites.
Sierra Leone: Strife over spoils
The iron law of oligarchy simply means that incentives are passed from one elite society to another leading to intense extraction that causes instability.
In Sierra Leone, All People’s Congress (APC) led by Siaka Stevens governed the country from 1967 to 1985. Joseph Momoh also exercised the same leadership as his predecessor. In early 1991, the Revolutionary United Front that was led by Foday Sankoh entered the country and caused civil war that lasted an entire decade. They wanted to overthrow the government and loot diamonds. The civil war caused several deaths; the states government and institutions also collapsed. In 1991, the country’s economy level declined from 15% to almost 0%.
This paper attempts to highlight the history of the Yugoslavian country and the social issues that took place before and after it collapsed. This paper starts by giving a faint image of how the state began to lose control in some of its areas until protests and demonstrations started to break out. The analysis explains how Milosevic changed his character from a leader who valued other lives to one who separated his people based on ethnicity.
I was motivated by the fact that Milosevic could rise to the highest level of leadership in the Yugoslavian government only to ruin a perfect empire that was established by his predecessors. This shows that there is imminent danger to people if they choose leaders based on their short-term features rather than a long-term reputation. The people accepted this leader for supporting them in protests rather than carrying out a comprehensive research of his ideologies.
I hope to inform people that leaders are not determined by their physical appearance or history of their success but by their ideologies and what they stand for. If the people of the Yugoslavian government were conversant with this idea, they could have chosen a different leader with outstanding skills to lead them. The potential audience of this message is people from democratic countries since they determine their own leaders. This also applies to any person in any leadership position.
In conclusion, all people have one thing in common when it comes to bad leadership; it affects them all. It is of paramount importance to note that people should be vigilant not to elect bad leaders into offices lest they suffer harsh consequences. For instance, it rhetorical that Milosevic was voted in to fight for the rights of the minority only to fight them later.
Axelrod, Robert, ed. Structure of decision: The cognitive maps of political elites. Princeton
University Press, 2015
Djilas, Aleska “A Profile of Slobodan Milosevic” Foreign Affairs 72.3, 1993: 81
Flere, Sergej “The Dissolution of Yugoslavia as Reflected Upon by Post-Yugoslav
Sociologists” Debating the end of Yugoslavia, 2014: 81-96
Gottlieb G., Paul C. Szasz and Mike N. Barnett “The Fragmentation of Yugoslavia:
Nationalism in a Multinational State” Choice Reviews Online 34.10, 2017: 34-5932-34-5932
Schimmelfenning, Frank “NATO and institutional theories of International Relations”
Theorizing NATO: New Perspectives on the Atlantic Alliance, 2015: 22-40