Yugoslavia: the non-Leninist succession

by A. Ross Johnson

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Discussion concerning changes in the Yugoslav political system since 1948, and an analysis of the conditions of the post-Tito succession. States the general misunderstanding of the Western attitude toward Yugoslavia, called the "Soviet paradigm" implying a Leninist succession. Beginning in the late 1960s, Tito oversaw the construction of new, less personalized mechanisms intended to provide Yugoslavia with leadership. Through reorganization, decentralization of power, and restructuring the political system, a multinational, representational, and collegial character began to evolve. This paper highlights the process of a new approach to the succession issue. It traces the devolution of political power that has involved the republicanization of the Yugoslav political system. It concludes that a collective leadership is the only viable "successor" to Tito.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Paper series. The paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.

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