Balkans

The Austrian writer Peter Handke poses in Chaville, in the suburbs of Paris, on Oct. 10, after he was awarded the 2019 Nobel Prize in literature.

Why Trolling Can Win You a Nobel Prize for Literature

Peter Handke’s greatest aesthetic strength is his biggest intellectual weakness: the absence of all political and psychological depth.

Bosnian women flee Jajce, Bosnia and Herzegovina, on Oct. 31, 1992.

For Bosnian Women, No Justice—and No Seats

In the Balkan wars, women were targets. In postwar governments, they’ve been pushed out of sight.

A man holds a picture with Macedonian national hero Goce Delcev in front of the parliament building in Skopje on June 23, 2018 during a protest against the new name of the country, the Republic of North Macedonia.

Refighting the Balkan Wars Won’t Lead to a Seat at the Table in Brussels

Historical feuds still threaten to stop Eastern European countries from joining the EU.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks with Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, and Kosovar President Hashim Thaci during a summit on the Balkans in Sofia, Bulgaria, on May 17, 2018.

U.S. Plans to Jump Back Into the Balkans With New Envoy

Two decades after brokering peace in the former Yugoslavia, Washington plans to try to restart talks between Serbia and Kosovo.

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of People in Beijing on April 25.

Big Brother Comes to Belgrade

Chinese facial recognition software has arrived in Serbia. It confirms the West’s worst fears about Huawei.

Supporters of Greece's far right Golden Dawn party protest against the construction of a mosque in central Athens on September 5, 2018.

The Balkan Wars Created a Generation of Christian Terrorists

War radicalized the far-right — and nobody stopped them at home.

Prime Minister of North Macedonia Zoran Zaev hands the NATO flag to an honor guard during an official flag-raising ceremony in Skopje, North Macedonia, on Feb. 12. (Robert Atanasovski/AFP/Getty Images)

North Macedonia Gets Coveted Seat at NATO’s Table

The small Balkan country hopes to officially join the alliance by year’s end, the foreign minister says in interview.

A reflection on the Miljacka river of a pedestrian walking past a mosque in Sarajevo on Oct. 6, 2018. (Andrej Isakovic/AFP/Getty Images)

The Balkans Are the World Capital of Islamophobia

The region’s genocidal wars are over—but bigots from across the West still flock there for inspiration.

An elderly woman casts her ballot in a mobile ballot box in Bardar, Moldova on Feb. 24, 2019. (Daniel Mihailescu/AFP/Getty Images)

People of the World, Stop Looking at Moldova!

Politicians in this corner of Eastern Europe insist their country is a stage for geopolitical rivalry between the West and Russia—the better to profit from the attention.

Migrants camp on the road in the vicinity of the Maljevac border crossing with neighboring Croatia, near the northern Bosnian town of Velika Kladusa, on Oct. 24, 2018. (Elvis Barukcic/AFP/Getty Images)

In Bosnia, a Migrant Way Station Is Becoming a Winter Prison

For years, the country remained untouched by the global migrant crisis, but now, even in a place where many people were once refugees, tensions are on the rise.

People gather to celebrate the return of the formerly banned anti-government group the Oromo Liberation Front at Mesquel Square in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, on Sept. 15, 2018.

Don’t Let Ethiopia Become the Next Yugoslavia

Federations of ethnonational states can become explosive during moments of political liberalization. Abiy Ahmed must tread carefully to avoid a Balkan nightmare.

Macedonians in Skopje rally in support of changing their country's name on Sept. 16. (Robert Atanasovski/AFP/Getty Images)

It’s Time for Macedonia to Accept Compromise

Voters in the country’s upcoming name-change referendum should not allow nationalist opposition or foreign interference to stand in their way.

A Kosovar police officer walks past burning logs as Kosovo Albanians gather around a barricade blocking access to a village due to be visited by the Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, on the main road between Mitrovica, in the north of Kosovo, and the village of Banje, a Serbian enclave on Sept. 9.

Partition in Kosovo Will Lead to Disaster

Ill-advised land swaps and population transfers won’t bring peace. They’re more likely to revive the bloodshed that plagued the Balkans during the 1990s.

Kosovo-Albanian waves an Albanian and a American flag when he ride a horse during the celebration of Kosovo's expected declaration of independence on February 16, 2008 in  Pristina, Kosov. (Carsten Koall/Getty Images)

How to Restart War in the Balkans

The Trump administration will regret looking for simple solutions to Eastern Europe's territorial disputes.

Croatian nationalist singer Marko Perkovic (known as Thompson) performs during an event to welcome Zlatko Dalic, Croatia's national football coach, at a local stadium in the Western-Bosnian town of Livno on July 24, 2018.

In Croatia, Nazi Sympathizers Are Welcome to Join the Party

The national soccer team celebrated its strong World Cup showing alongside a singer who glorifies the country’s fascist past. But it shouldn’t have come as a surprise.

Montenegrin Army soldiers fire artillery look at the Montenegro flag during preparations on the eve of Independence day, on May 20, 2010 in Cetinje, Montenegro.

A Russian Attack on Montenegro Could Mean the End of NATO

Trump doesn’t think the country is worth defending. Putin has already tried to destabilize it once—the West can’t let it happen again.

Bosnian lovers Admira Ismic (L) and Bosko Brckic, who were shot dead while trying to escape the besieged capital last week and whose bodies lay embraced in a riverfront no-man's land for 5 days, are pictured in a photograph taken on Sarajevo's Miljacka River just after their high school graduation in 1985 - PBEAHUNJDBR

In Bosnia, Forgetting Could Mean a Brighter Future

The debate over whether to build an official memorial to Sarajevo's Romeo and Juliet, murdered in 1993, exposes the pain and peril of dwelling on the past.

Swiss winger Xherdan Shaqiri celebrates after scoring the winning goal in the 2018 World Cup match between Serbia and Switzerland at Kaliningrad Stadium on June 22. (Clive Rose/Getty Images)

For Serbs, Switzerland Isn’t Neutral

Serbia’s nationalist soccer fans hoped to restore their national pride by beating a Swiss team led by Kosovar stars. Instead, the Kosovo-born Xherdan Shaqiri handed them a humiliating defeat.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Serbia's President Aleksandar Vucic address a joint press conference following their talks at the Chancellery in Berlin on February 27, 2018.

How Aleksandar Vucic Became Europe’s Favorite Autocrat

The EU is undermining its credibility by choosing stability over democracy in Serbia