The Political Integration of Yugoslavia's Muslims: Determinants of Success and Failure

Steven L. Burg


One of the foundations of the communist claim to legitimacy
in Yugoslavia is the assertion that the party has been able to do
what none of its predecessors could do: regulate internationality
conflict and thereby maintain political stability.
Over the years, nationalist movements among one or another of the country's constituent nationalities have seriously challenged that claim. At no time, however, has the communist regime faced such a challenge from a movement based on Islam as a religious, cultural, or political force for mass mobilization. The absence of such a challenge can be explained in part by the successful integration -- some might say cooptation -- of part of the Islamic population through mechanisms of control, and timely concessions amounting to a policy of accommodation. However, that absence can also be explained by the fact that that part of the Islamic populati on which has mounted a serious challenge to the regime has done so on an entirely different basis.

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