Changing Perspectives of the Second Yugoslav State: a Master thesis analysing the change from a multinational Yugoslavia to a system of national successor states (1980 – 1991) using different perspectives in International Relations Theory and weighing their value for understanding the past events.
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This thesis tries to establish which of the three main International Relations theories, namely realism, liberalism and constructivism, offers the best explanation for the dissolution of Yugoslavia and the birth of new-nation-states on its territory. In the analysis different causes for the conflict, which are frequently mentioned in the literature, are represented such as the political system, economy, history, technology and ideology. Subsequently, the thesis explores how the different International Relations theories relate to these causes by comparing the theories with the causes from the traditional explanations. The analysis then indicates that, while all theories separately provide a comprehensive explanation (linking different causes), realism mostly focuses on the influence of the political system and its political leaders, while liberalism adds the importance of the ongoing learning process of humankind - which however can also have a negative influence. It is constructivism, however, which takes into account most of the (important) aspects and therefore seems the most valuable theory for explaining the breakup of Yugoslavia. Only theoretical pluralism, though, gives a fair amount of thought to all aspects involved and thus leads ultimately to a better understanding of the events regarding the deconstruction of Former Yugoslavia and the creation of its successor states.