Glenny on Balkans

Nathan Newman nathan.newman at
Sat Nov 27 08:28:13 PST 1999

> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-lbo-talk at
> [mailto:owner-lbo-talk at]On Behalf Of Doug Henwood
> But consistently and conspicuously absent from western considerations
> on the Balkans since the latter half of the 19th century has been the
> impact of the west itself on the region.

This is a bit of a truncated analysis of the impact of Great Powers on the region, since it only compares the relatively stable period of the Ottoman Empire with later interventions by the West. If you jump to the period preceding the Ottoman Empire, the Byzantine period earned its name in the Balkans due to the conflict and proxy wars fought between the Othodoxy of the Emperor in Constantinople against the Pope and its allies. The patchwork of Catholicism and Orthodoxy in the region is a product of that period when local Balkan principalities were pawns in the centuries long warfare between the two Christian halves of the old Roman empire.

And of course, the Crusades came through the region more than once, reeking the havoc that only those bizarre holy campaigns could. Local nationalisms would have a short flare during the century or two when the Byzantine empire was collapsing and before the Ottoman Turks took over, but the region has almost always throughout its history been subject to outside forces.

-- Nathan Newman

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