The wars of Yugoslav dissolution and Britain's role in the making of international policy
Osmancavusoglu, Emel G.
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This study is a chronological examination of British politics and diplomacy concerning the Former Yugoslavia from the explosion of war in 1991 right up to the signing of the Dayton Peace Agreement in December 1995. As such, it serves as a case study of British diplomacy during that period. All in all, British policy towards the Yugoslav dissolution wars was evaluated as unsuccessful both in terms of achieving a stable peace in the region and containing the conflict. The major aim of this study is to analyse the basic considerations and main motives behind the British policy in dealing with the wars of Yugoslav dissolution. The study attempts to look at the question whether or not any particular responsibility for the inadequate international response to the Yugoslav crisis can be attributed to Britain. The study argues that Britain’s Conservative government, rather than attempting to lead international community to take more robust stance against Serbian genocidal war in Bosnia and Hercegovina, used its diplomatic skills to subdue discussion of using force whenever the issue arose and severely hampered a collective response to the crisis. As a result, it is argued that Major government’s unwillingness to go beyond humanitarian intervention, despite pressure from the US, from the media and public and from two main opposition parties, reinforced its image of weakness and incompetence and thus did have important political implications both at home and abroad.