Volume 22 - Article 35 | Pages 1097-1142

A fish stinks from the head: Ethnic diversity, segregation, and the collapse of Yugoslavia

By E. A. Hammel, Carl Mason, Mirjana Stevanovic

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Date received:03 Sep 2009
Date published:24 Jun 2010
Word count:12348
Keywords:collapse of Yugoslavia, diversity, ethnic politics, ethnicity, segregation, Yugoslavia


Demographic analysis clarifies political issues in the collapse of Yugoslavia. In most regions, 1961-1991, ethnic diversity (estimated by informational entropy) increased and segregation (estimated by Theil’s H) decreased. In a few regions there was a reversal in 1991 as migration flows or presentations of self perhaps changed in anticipation of war. The analysis strengthens refutations of the view that long standing ethnic hatreds were the root cause of the Yugoslav collapse and supports analyses that attribute collapse to general economic crisis, economic competition between regions, and failures at the peak of government.

Author's Affiliation

E. A. Hammel - University of California, Berkeley, United States of America [Email]
Carl Mason - University of California, Berkeley, United States of America [Email]
Mirjana Stevanovic - Stanford University, United States of America [Email]

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