Open confrontations in the post-Yugoslav wars gave the advocates of ethno-nationalist ideologies (and their users) plenty of experiences or "proof" which "confirmed" all previous fears and concerns: "they" (another ethnic collective) are "out to get us". The wartime period, as well as post-war years, have been featured by spreading narratives which concretizes the abstract and empty ideology of ethnicity.
Twenty years after the epoch-making change in 1989, which affected the post-Yugoslavian space in a way entirely different from other former “real-socialist” European countries, this study is an effort toward an analytical view on the past two decades of development of civil society in the western Balkans.
In the words of the Polish journalist and dissident, Adam Michnik, 1989 was Europe’s annus mirabilis. The peaceful revolution of that year was a miracle effected by the people in central and eastern Europe. Hardly any one (and certainly no western head of state or politician) had foreseen that a popular movement active in different countries would, in just a few months, topple socialist regimes and force the mighty Soviet Union to retreat behind the borders of Russia.