Opinion / Balkans, former Yugoslavia

Iraq: FCO Slapstick

The Sunday Times (£) has a piece describing in some detail how ‘Former MI6 Chief’ Sir John Sawers was ‘slapped down for Iraq gaffe’. Here. The article is little more than a breathless description of one document unearthed by the Chilcot Iraq Inquiry. But the author Defence Correspondent Mark Hookham does […]

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Yugoslavia – Heavenly Boarders

Here’s a grim article by one Phil Butler blaming everyone but the Yugoslavs for the collapse of Yugoslavia: It is a fact, that after World War II, socialist Yugoslavia became something of a European success story. Between 1960 and 1980 the country had one of the most vigorous growth rates in […]

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Iraq: Mars v Venus (again)

The Chilcot Report saga prompts me into reposting a speech I gave in Germany in 2004 about Iraq, diplomacy and pretty much everything. Here it is in full. Looking back on it now I conclude that it’s too long, repetitive/involved and lacks ‘Structure’. Not clear what two or three key […]

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Brexit (4): Negotiation Dynamics

I plan to write lots of things here on how the Brexit situation casts light on Negotiation Theory and Practice. I won’t be alone. The problems and opportunities created by the UK’s Brexit vote will give negotiation pundits material for decades, maybe centuries. Let’s start with some very big picture […]

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Brexit (3): Scotland

Once upon a time when I was UK ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina, I was invited to Pale to give a live TV interview to Republika Srpska TV. After I refused to do the interview in a room featuring a picture of war crimes indictee Radovan Karadžić and we went […]

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Brexit v UKinEU (18): Timescale

A reader and fan of the Holy Roman Empire writes: Before you write another article on European history you ought to read Peter H.Wilson’s book on the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation. Only then will people understand German and also European history. Europe most likely would or could […]

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Brexit v UKinEU (17): What Next?

Over at the FT (££) is an elegant piece by David Allen Green on the legal/constitutional steps that would be expected following a Brexit vote. Key point: A vote for Brexit will not be determinative of whether the UK will leave the EU. That potential outcome comes down to the […]

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Brexit v UKinEU (16): Sand Dune

Here is my piece on UK/EU/Brexit that’s just gone up over at Huffington Post: … our decisions today are part of bigger trends, even if in all the noise it’s hard to spot them. Here are three. First, the European Union is like every other attempted pan-European project of the […]

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ICTY: Justice or Peace?

Back in 2009 I wrote two hefty pieces here about ICTY and its role in bringing to justice Balkans war crimes suspects. This one, on the occasion of the viewing of a film Storm: I said that in this sense the film had done a good job, bringing out a […]

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Karadžić is Guilty

The arrest of Radovan Karadžić back in 2008 prompted me to write at some length about him and his life and times. See here. Two pieces read nicely now. This one: Karadžić looks to have been a second-rate romantic who became improbably entangled in Bosnian nationalist politics and then was […]

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