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Rather, it adopts an instrumentalist approach in its perception of ethnicity as an organisational tool used as a strategic basis for coalitions competing for stability Posen, , The extra conditions of his thesis are displayed in the existence of large Serbian communities in Bosnia and Slovenia: thirty-one Hercegbosna, and twenty-five percent Popos, respectively and dominant military strength of the YNA.

As well as this, the additional exacerbating conditions he hypothesises are also applicable in the case of Yugoslavia. However, in doing so he never specifies whether the Serb-Croat perceptions of malign intent were based on misperception or real malignity Roe, , ; , The central contention between Constructivism, Neorealism and Primordialism is the way in which they instrumentalise identity in their theories.

The concept of identity is paramount to Constructivists explanations of the primary causes of the Yugoslavian Civil War; they hypothesise that it is an evolving, malleable concept- the product of human action and discourse rather than biology Fearon and Laitin,, Accordingly, Constructivist explanations of the Yugoslavian Wars origins assert that conflicts origins lay in groups fears regarding their ethnic identity. Fearon and Laitin observe that the prevailing argument in Constructivist literature is that large-scale ethnic violence is provoked by elites manipulating groups social histories, myths and collective narratives to gain, maintain, or increase their hold on political power Tambiah and Kapferer cited in Fearon and Laitin, , The subsequent violence emerging from these discourses helps further antagonistic discourses and reproduce them, leading a constructed history of violence and animosity.

Furthermore, the perpetration of extreme violence based on antagonistic group identities is demonstrable in the Serbian siege of Sarajevo and massacre at Srebrenica. Similar consideration must be given to the role of gender identity.

However, whilst the strength of Constructivist literature on elite-driven explanations challenges the prescriptive account of Posen, it similarly fails to properly account for the origins of the Yugoslav conflict. In their assertion that elite-led violence was the cause of the conflict Tambiah and Kapferer do not explain how elites can manipulate group narratives and convince followers to adopt antagonistic identities which had not existed prior to the conflict. Thus, contemporary literature does little to specify the conditions in which elite actions are able construct the ethnic group in a more aggressive manner Fearon and Laitin, , This challenge is valid when applied to the case of Yugoslavia, whilst the rhetoric of Milosevic and Croatian leader Francis Tudjman is indicative of elite-led manipulation it does not justify why ethnic groups were so ready to adopt hostile stances.

The violence in Yugoslavia was undoubtedly exacerbated by political leaders operationalising ethnic identity. Roe assumes the traditional Butterfieldian conception of the Security Dilemma- the premise that misperception and ambiguity over intent between groups in a condition of anarchy generates instability and conflict.

This refers to a scenario in which each group defines their identity and thus security relative to others as well as defending their ethnic identity from the perceived imposition of others. Defined by these now hostile perceptions, Serbia acted as an aggressive force in the conflicts, exploiting its dominant military position to consolidate its societal security through preventive wars of aggression aimed at protecting Serbian minority groups.

The actions of Serbia against the secessionist proclamations of Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo can be understood as attempts to defend their societal identity, with the origins traceable to a security dilemma in which ethnic identity played a central role. This essay has also discussed the competing theories of Constructivism and Neorealism.

The utility of Neorealist theory is its ability to put forth a set of necessary conditions for conflict to occur. Bayar, M. Cederman, L. Fearon, J.


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