Preserving Peace in a Troubled Region: the Case of Montenegro
Volume 19, Issue 1 (2021), pp. 137–158
Pub. online: 17 June 2022 Type: Article Open Access
17 June 2022
17 June 2022
In the wake of the Cold War, Yugoslavia and its successor states were engulfed in a series of conflicts, including armed ones. In all of the republics - the newly independent states of Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, and Serbia’s then-province of Kosovo, but with the exception of Slovenia - these conflicts were primarily ethnically driven. The only former Yugoslav republic to avert armed conflict in the 1990s was Montenegro, which regained its independence peacefully in 2006. In this article, the authors respond to the research question of why, out of all of the republics of the former Yugoslavia, was it only in Montenegro in which there was no ethnic conflict during the disintegration of the Yugoslav federation? The authors apply the Randall Collins theory of social conflicts to the case study of Montenegro. This theory combines geopolitical and ethnic factors for the absence or outbreak of conflicts, something which has a strong explanatory potential for this case study. Through a multidisciplinary approach, based on a case study as a qualitative method, the authors analyse various factors so that they are able to reach concrete conclusions in a comprehensive manner. The analysis covers historical, demographic, political, and special ethical aspects in Montenegro. Our explanation of the most important causes which ensured the absence of ethnic conflict in Montenegro is based on perspectives of what can be referred to as the neo-Weberian and anti-foundationalism approaches which emphasise the behaviour of the state, as well as geopolitical circumstances, as prime examples for the emergence or absence of ethnic-based conflict.