Impressions of Post-Tito Yugoslavia

A Trip Report

by A. Ross Johnson

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Post-Tito Yugoslavia is a more open society than was the Yugoslavia of the 1970s. The media display considerable criticism and autonomy. Yugoslav foreign policy has been marked by continuity in the period since Tito's death. Good relations with the West have continued, and Soviet-Yugoslav relations have been clouded only by the Polish unrest. Relations with Albania have deteriorated as a result of the Kosovo unrest. The collective successionist institutions in Yugoslavia have worked because in the quasi-confederation that is Yugoslavia, and in the League of Communists that rules, power flows up from the constituent republics and provinces, not down from the center. Kosovo was shaken by severe unrest earlier in the year. Kosovo notwithstanding, the main challenge confronting post-Tito Yugoslavia is resolution of the country's serious economic problems. These may be tackled more or less successfully, but they will be approached on the basis of interrepublican consensus, not centralized decisions.

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