Comment 05 Jul 17

Ethnic Partition Would Spell Disaster for the Balkans

Calls to rearrange Balkan borders along ethnic criteria are dangerously retrograde - and would fuel the very conflicts they seek to resolve.

George Vasilev
BIRN
Map of the Balkans. Photo: Pixabay

In the latest of a series of commentary articles published in Foreign Affairs and Balkan Insight, Timothy Less has depicted interethnic relations in the Balkans as so gravely damaged that they are beyond repair.

He has implicated the European Union in this purported problem, contending that its promotion of multiculturalism is a failed policy that is steering the region towards an ethnic Armageddon where states will eventually dissolve along ethnic lines, potentially with murderous consequences.

Less has made a plea that we should act to pre-empt this calamitous fate through a policy of ethnic partition. He has called for the introduction of cross-border governing arrangements that bind minorities to ethnic kin-states or, more desirably, the reconfiguration of state borders so that political communities become ethnically homogenous.

In his view, this process of homogenisation holds the key to peace and stability, as it provides “freedom from external interference and protection from the threat of political aggression which minorities in the region fear”.

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