, Volume 90, Number 6

Cornelia Navari

The Arbitration Commission of the Conference on Yugoslavia provided the basis of the post-Cold War territorial settlements in Europe. These included democratization criteria for the recognition of the new states in central Europe and a new territorial concept that allowed the internal borders of federated states to serve as international borders. In the process, the commission endorsed cultural nationalism within fixed borders and encouraged a significant degree of political self-determination. The commissioners also supported identity nationalism as a genuine aspiration, giving rise to ‘an interesting direction of thought’ concerning the interpretation and meaning of the self-determination of peoples, and these provoked an enhanced understanding and protection of the rights of minorities. This was to provide a basis for the legitimacy claims not only of Bosnian Serbs and Kosovars, but also of Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Crimea.

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