Policy in the
from 1993 to 2009
This volume presents an analysis and comparison of two consecutive US Administrations, the one of William J. Clinton and the other of George W. Bush, and their respective foreign policy goals and interests in the region of the Western Balkans between 1993 and 2009. In that respect, the volume aims to prove that foreign policy understanding of the region and US role in it with both Administrations remained essentially the same. Therefore, the case argued here is that both of the Administrations in question comprehended the region in the same fashion and therefore had same or very similar foreign policy goals and interests in it. In that regard, this volume addresses, via methods of Content Analysis (CA) and Discourse Analysis (DA) of selected primary sources, the aforementioned issues of the goals and interests of both Administrations in the region, and, in addition, provides insight into how comparable, and hence similar, these actually were in the given period. More than that, the volume also provides an analytical insight into the matter of foreign policy understanding of the region with both Administrations and thus demonstrates that dominant meanings/images concerning the understanding of the region and the American role in it were the same with both Administrations. Hence, this volume confirms that both Administrations maintained the (re)production of the same foreign policy discourse on the Western Balkans, and, in addition, shared the goal of stabilizing the region in ‘remaking’ it thorough the democratic transformation process. Đor đević Vladimir, Ph.D., Visiting Lecturer at the Department of IR and European Studies, Faculty of Social Studies, Masaryk University, specializes in US Foreign Policy, European Integration of the Western Balkans, and Human Rights. He studied B.A. studies at Faculty of Philology, University of Belgrade, Serbia, and M.A. and Ph.D. studies at Faculty of Social Studies, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic. He was Visiting Researcher at East Central European Center at Columbia University in the City of New York, US, in 2013, and Visiting Fellow at Central European Policy Institute in Bratislava, Slovak Republic, in 2014.
US Foreign Policy in the Western Balkans from 1993 to 2009
Faculty of Social Studies, Masaryk University
Faculty of Social Studies
US FOREIGN POLICY
IN THE WESTERN BALKANS
FROM 1993 TO 2009
Reviewers: Dr James Ker-Lindsay, London School of Economics and Political Science,
prof. Dejan Jović, University of Zagreb
Published with the Faculty of Social Studies, Masaryk University subvention within the EDIS publication series, aiming to support PhD. graduates’ publication activities. © 2016 Vladimir Đorđević ISBN 978-80-210-8126-0 (online : pdf) ISBN 978-80-210-8112-3 (paperback) Scienti c Editorial Board of Masaryk University:
prof. MUDr. Martin Bareš, Ph.D.
Mgr. Iva Zlatušková
Ing. Radmila Droběnová, Ph.D.
Mgr. Michaela Hanousková
doc. Mgr. Jana Horáková, Ph.D.
doc. PhDr. Mgr. Tomáš Janík, Ph.D.
doc. JUDr. Josef Kotásek, Ph.D.
Mgr. et Mgr. Oldřich Krpec, Ph.D.
prof. PhDr. Petr Macek, CSc.
doc. Ing. Petr Pirožek, Ph.D.
doc. RNDr. Lubomír Popelínský, Ph.D.
Mgr. David Povolný
Mgr. Kateřina Sedláčková, Ph.D.
prof. RNDr. David Trunec, CSc.
prof. MUDr. Anna Vašků, CSc.
doc. Mgr. Martin Zvonař, Ph.D.
PhDr. Alena Mizerová Cover photo: Vladimir Đorđević
First of all, I would like to express gratitude to my former supervisor, doc.
PhDr Břetislav Dančák, Ph.D., for his timely assistance, excellent guid
ance, and his famous “Držte se,” which kept my spirits high in writing of
my PhD thesis. This book is based on my doctoral dissertation done at FSS,
Masaryk University, and I cannot be more grateful to him for all the help
provided in the process of writing and after. Second, I would like to thank
Prof. Vít Hloušek, Prof. Michal Kořan, and Prof. Pavel Pšeja for their sup
port and remarks as well. Third, I cannot be thankful enough for having
been backed in this academic venture by my closest friends, THE ZIOS,
and my family alike. Last but not least, I am sending all my love to my wife
Daniela Đorđević, and I thank her for putting up with me all these years!
Brno, December 2015 Vladimir ĐorđevićCONTENT
1. INTRODUCTION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
1.1. Nature of the Research Issue . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
1.2. Structure of the Volume . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
1.3. Past Research and Contribution to the Field . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 2. THEORETICAL ASSUMPTIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
2.1. Social Constructivism in International Relations . . . . . . . . . 25
2.2. On Language and its Impact on Social Science . . . . . . . . . . 33
2.3. Aims of the Research . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
2.4. Research Questions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
2.5. Definition of the Data Used in this Project . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 3. METHODOLOGICAL ASSUMPTIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45
3.1. Defining Discourse and Discourse Analysis . . . . . . . . . . . . 45
3.2. Approaches within Discourse Analysis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48
3.3. Political Discourse Analysis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50
3.4. Discourse Analysis in this Project . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53
3.5. Content Analysis: Pre-analysis to Discourse Analysis . . . . . 56
3.6. Content Analysis in this Project . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59
3.7. Contributions and Limitations of the Research . . . . . . . . . . 63
US FOREIGN POLICY IN THE WESTERN BALKANS FROM 1993 TO 20098
4. ANALYTICAL FINDINGS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67
4.1. Content Analysis Results . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67
4.2. The Clinton Administration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76
4.2.1. “We” in the “Powder Keg” of Europe,
or a Metaphor Revisited I: To Stabilize . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78
4.2.2. “We” in the “Powder Keg” of Europe,
or a Metaphor Revisited II: To Democratize
and Develop Economically . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 114
4.2.3. “We” In The “Powder Keg” of Europe,
or a Metaphor Revisited III: To Join the Community . . . 124
4.3. The G. W. Bush Administration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 128
4.3.1. “We” to “Finish The Work” I: To Stabilize Further
by Developing Democratically and Economically . . . . . . . 132
4.3.2. “We” to “Finish The Work” II:
To Join the Community . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 148
5. CONCLUSION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 163
6. BIBLIOGRAPHY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 169
6.1. Primary Sources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 169
6.2. Secondary Sources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1891. INTRODUCTION
1.1. NATURE OF THE RESEARCH ISSUE
“We of today shall be judged in the future by the manner in which we meet
the unprecedented responsibilities that rest upon us... in making certain
that the opportunities for future peace and stability shall not be lost.”
US Secretary of State Hull remarks to a joint session of Congress,
18 November 1943
US Secretary Cordell Hull made this remark before the Congress of the United States in the middle of the Second World War when the US efforts to defeat Nazi Germany were central in the Allied victory. However, the Secretary of State in his address could have easily referred to the Western Balkans
after 1989, since, with political, eco
nomic, and social changes that swept over Europe in the fall of Communism, the Western Balkans was thrown into disorder. This disorder is chiefly understood as vested in the dissolution of the joint Yugoslav state (Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia, or SFRJ in official languages of the country) that disintegrated in the beginning of the 1990s. Following overall changes in the international arena and largely caught in various domestic inter-elite struggles, crisis in the Socialist Yugoslavia was unfortunately not contained by the already weakened Communist Party leadership of the country ( Jović 2009: 2–5). Nationalist discourse, seen as an antipode to an already crumbling Yugoslav ideology, or the Yugoslav ‘third way,’ became largely supported and reproduced by republican elites, most notably in Slovenia, Croatia, and Serbia, and the Yugoslav federation composed of six republics and two autonomous provinces ceased to exist after parochial interests eventually came to rule the day
( Jović 2009: 11).
Quoted in Group of authors (2002).
This term has been introduced by the European Union to refer to all the
republics of the former Socialist Yugoslavia (SFRY ) except Slovenia and plus Albania and Kosovo. See European Union (2008).
Also see the edition on Yugoslavia by Ingrao and Emmert (eds., 2013).
US FOREIGN POLICY IN THE WESTERN BALKANS FROM 1993 TO 200910
Wars of Yugoslav succession followed and, except 1996 as the only relatively peaceful year upon the cessation of conflicts in both Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, lasted the whole decade. Early 1997 introduced instability in the then Serbian province of Kosovo and Metohija, and the conflict decade ended in NATO military operation Allied Force against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
in 1999. The
Yugoslav drama finally ended that year after which Kosovo, formerly a province of Serbia with an Albanian majority, became an international protectorate and, following years of unsuccessful negotiation, finally an independent state in early 2008.
For that matter, as far as the international intervention in the Western Balkans is concerned, it has to be pointed out that the US efforts and role in the crisis and the intervention in the Western Balkans have been thoroughly analyzed and opinions have remained rather divided. Regardless of these divisions, it is the opinion of the author of this volume that the US role was crucial in stopping the conflict in the former Socialist Yugoslavia and stabilizing the whole region of the Western Balkans. However, it is also important to note that the author of this volume is fully aware of the problems and issues in the US policy in the region and that this volume will also shed light, in respect to scope of its research interest of course, upon some of these matters. In addition, this volume has not been written with a specific intention of advocating any of the highly polarized academic attitudes on US foreign policy in the said region, but rather as an attempt at merely a comparative analysis.
Therefore, the author’s opinion is that the US interest and policy in the region went from a very limited role and a rather reserved attitude in the late years of the George W. H. Bush Presidency, which also coincided with the beginning of the Yugoslav wars, to a full-fledged commitment to resolve the Yugoslav problem during the Clinton Presidency. This does not, however, mean that this Administration truly managed to find the right course for settling the problem at hand immediately upon entering office in 1993, but actually that the US
Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY ) was one of the states created after the
collapse of the Socialist Yugoslav state and it existed from 1992 to 2003 when it was renamed Serbia and Montenegro. FRY was comprised of two republics, Serbia and Montenegro, and the latter republic proclaimed independence in June 2006.1. INTRODUCTION involvement gradually became more significant only to be crowned by the Dayton Peace Agreement in late 1995.
For all criticism that Clinton expressed during 1992 presidential campaign towards his predecessor in the White House, his policy was initially very cautious and limited to “lift and strike” strategy (Mitchell 2005: 151). However, with the worsening of the situation on the ground in Bosnia-Herzegovina (BiH), especially with an increasing number of massacres within the ethnic cleansing policy of the warring parties, predominantly the Bosnian Serb Army, and, internationally speaking, the failure of European diplomatic initiatives, the Administration’s attitude gradually developed towards a coercive diplomacy that was backed by the military strikes against Bosnian Serb positions in BiH in 1995. In a very similar fashion, the NATO campaign against the FRY in 1999 followed this track and instituted in 1999 what is today in international relations (IR) known as the Clinton Doctrine (Klare 1999). President Clinton himself explained it by saying: “Where our values and our interests are at stake, and where we can make a difference, we must be prepared to do so” (Clinton, William J. “Remarks by the President on Foreign Policy.” Grand Hyatt Hotel, San Francisco. 26 Feb 1999).
Very much similar to Clinton’s criticism of George H. W. Bush’s policy in the region at hand, Clinton’s Administration was also heavily criticized by his successor for an excessive engagement in the Western Balkans (and elsewhere in similar state-building projects). The team of George W. Bush during the presidential campaign of 2000 advocated a major cut in international peacekeeping operations, one of them being the Western Balkans (Gordon 2000). It is precisely due to its different foreign policy goals that G. W. Bush the presidential candidate with his team had wanted to put increasingly less emphasis on the Western Balkans and its importance in relation to global US interests.
However, several problems in the region managed to attract the attention of the Administration almost immediately upon entering the office: armed insurrection of Albanians in Southern Serbia from mid- 1999 to mid-2001, armed insurrection of Albanians in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia in 2001, ethnic violence in Kosovo that in 2004 threatened to destabilize the region yet again, peaking internal divisions in BiH after 2000, tense Serbo-Montenegrin
US FOREIGN POLICY IN THE WESTERN BALKANS FROM 1993 TO 200912
relations in light of the Montenegrin quest for and consequent independence in mid-2006, and, last but not least, the unresolved status of Kosovo till early 2008. Despite these issues and the US interest in resolving them, it is crucial to note that the US military disengagement from the region happened gradually as the number of military personnel eventually decreased. This decrease did not, for that matter, automatically mean that Washington was altogether abandoning the region, but just that its commitments to the region were to be shared with the EU partners (Karon 2001). The Administration, especially during its second term, of G. W. Bush became a steadfast advocate of what Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns said when testifying before Congress “finish the work” policy (Bugajski (ed.) 2010: 29). This policy was largely understood as finishing the stabilization process in the region and finally directing the Western Balkans towards future membership in the EU and NATO.
Therefore, while it is fair to assume that the US commitments in the region changed over time in terms of the form of the American involvement, it is, on the other hand, important to note that Washington’s line remained essentially unchanged when it came to its ultimate plan for the Western Balkans (i.e. in terms of the US goals and interests). In that respect, regardless of size and form, the US presence for years represented a must in the Western Balkans and thus remained in effect unchanged from the Clinton to the G. W. Bush Administration. In that’s respect, this volume is dedicated to proving that both Administrations in question had the same, or very similar, line of goals and interests (role) in the region at hand, but undoubtedly went in different directions in terms of means/ways of achieving their respective goals.
In respect to the above said, this volume is aimed at presenting an analysis and then comparison of the two consecutive US Administrations in the period between 1993 and 2009, the one of William J. Clinton and the other of George W. Bush, and their foreign policy goals and interests in the region. More than that, the volume is aimed at proving that the understanding of the region and the US role in it with both Administrations remained primarily the same. Hence, the case argued here is that both of these Administrations comprehended the region in a very similar fashion and therefore had same or very similar foreign policy goals and interests, although, and this is an is
sue not dealt with in this volume, these two Administrations arguably
resorted to different means of achieving their respective aims. In that
respect, this volume will address, using methods of Content Analysis
(CA) and then Discourse Analysis (DA) of selected primary sources,
the aforementioned issue of the goals and interests of both Adminis
trations in the region and will, in addition, provide insight into how
comparable, and hence similar, these actually were. Last but not least,
the volume will also provide insight into the matter of foreign policy
understanding of the region by both Administrations, and is aimed at
proving that the dominant meanings/images concerning the under
standing of the Western Balkans and the American role in it were the
same with both Administrations. This, last but not least, means that
one can speak about continuity in the foreign policy discourse(s) here
For that matter, as far as comprehending the region and the
American foreign policy role in it are concerned, it is important to
note that this volume will prove that those main/dominant views/
meanings/images largely developed during the Clinton’s Administra
tion withstood tests of time and were largely repeated and recreated
by the following Administration in the White House. In addition,
both understanding of the region and the US regional foreign policy
goals proclaimed by this Administration remained unchanged with
the latter Administration as well. Hence, it needs to be pointed out
that, although the G. W. Bush’s Administration spent much less time
in dealing with the Western Balkans in respect to its overall foreign
it nevertheless continued to (re)produce that same
discourse on the Western Balkans that was characterized by references
to various instabilities of the past, these being political, economic, or
social, the overall volatility of the region, and, last but not least, the
need for the US (international community) to be and remain engaged,
in a number of different capacities, in the region. Therefore, the G. W.
Bush Administration chiefly understood its role in the region in the
same way as the previous Administration did. In that regard, both
discourses were in chiefly all dominant points identical, or largely very
similar, and it can be claimed that both Administrations understood the
region as essentially explosive and in immediate need of (immediate)
On this and related issues refer to Moens (2004).
US FOREIGN POLICY IN THE WESTERN BALKANS FROM 1993 TO 200914
stabilization: firstly, with the Clinton Administration, in terms of containing the conflict, and then, with the both Administrations, transforming the region democratically so as to join the Euro-Atlantic community in the future.
On the other hand, as far as the US goals and interests are con
cerned, it may be claimed that both Administrations shared the goal of stabilizing the region and then ‘remaking’ it thorough the democratic transformation process. The Clinton Administration primarily engaged in resolving the conflicts in the region, largely in order to stop their spread and put an end to many of the then urgent regional problems, which was supposed to be a prelude for the democratization of the region. On the other hand, the G. W. Bush Administration also laid heavy emphasis on the stabilization of the region through the democratization process and Euro-Atlantic integration, and its discourse in this regard was substantial. Thus, both Administrations actually aimed at one and the same goal, and therefore continued to support democratic transition of the region that was supposed to address the following issues:
1. Instituting rule of law and democratic political systems in all states
of the region was (is) a must. As pointed out in a CRS report on
future of the Balkans and implications for US foreign policy when
domestic politics was one among issues discussed, the domestic
political environment “in the Balkan countries has improved since
the end of the Yugoslav wars in the 1990s. All the countries in
the region have held largely free and fair elections, although some
problems with elections still need to be addressed. Civil society
groups and independent media express a wide variety of views,
but sometimes face pressure from government authorities. The
countries in the region have redrawn their constitutions along
more democratic lines, but some constitutional provisions in
Serbia and other countries are still less than ideal. Serious prob
lems remain. The legitimacy of democratic institutions is chal
lenged by the weakness of government structures. The countries
of the region lack effective, depoliticized public administration.
The police and judicial systems in many countries are weak and
often politicized. Government corruption is a serious problem in
all of the countries of the region. Organized crime is a powerful 1. INTRODUCTION
force in the region and is often allied with key politicians, police,
and intelligence agency officials. Albania, Macedonia, and other
countries of the region have had problems in developing a stable,
democratic political culture. This has resulted in excessively sharp
tension between political parties that has at times hindered ef
fective governance. Relatedly, ethnic tension remains a serious
problem in many countries of the region, particularly in Bosnia,
Kosovo, and Macedonia” (Woehrel 2009: 2–3). 2. Pursuing agenda of market-oriented economic reform, largely due
to the fact that all economies in the region “face the burden of
a Communist legacy as well as well as resistance to economic
transparency by many local leaders. Some of the region’s economic
problems are closely related to its political problems. Weak and
corrupt state structures have been an obstacle to rationalizing tax
and customs systems to provide adequate revenue for social pro
grams and other government functions. The absence of the rule
of law has hampered foreign investment in some countries due
to concern over the sanctity of contracts. In Bosnia, the lack of
a strong central government and the division of the country into
two semi-autonomous “entities” has hindered the development of
a single market. Substantial progress has been made in economic
reforms in many countries since the 1990s. Fiscal and monetary
austerity, with the assistance of international financial institutions,
permitted many countries to avoid hyperinflation and stabilize
their currencies. The countries of the region embarked on the
privatization of their industries. However, the process remains
incomplete and there have been concerns within these coun
tries and among foreign investors about corruption and a lack of
transparency in some deals. High unemployment and poverty are
serious problems in all of the countries of the region” (Woehrel
2009: 3–4). 3. Building the self-sustainable region and directing it towards the Euro
Atlantic integrations. In that respect, as it has been highlighted by
the Department of State, “US policy toward the Balkans is fo
cused on helping the states of the region cement peace and build
stability and prosperity by deepening cooperation and advanc
ing their integration into Euro-Atlantic institutions, including
NATO and the EU. The Balkans region has made tremendous
US FOREIGN POLICY IN THE WESTERN BALKANS FROM 1993 TO 200916
progress, moving from war to peace, from disintegration to co
operative development, and implementing democratic, economic
and defense-related reforms on the path to a Euro-Atlantic fu
ture. The United States remains committed to an integrated, free
and peaceful Europe” (quoted from the US State Department
). In other words, as the CRS report stated: “The main
goal of the United States and the international community in the
Balkans is to stabilize the region in a way that does not require
direct intervention by NATO-led forces and international civilian
officials, and puts it on a path toward integration into Euro-At
lantic institutions” (Woehrel 2009: 4). Last of all, as this chapter has argued, this research project is aimed at analyzing the foreign policy discourse(s) of the Administrations in questions, and, in that respect, proving that not only that the both Administrations had the same foreign policy role in the region in terms of goals and interests, but, moreover, that they actually understood the region in one and the same way, i.e. that those dominant meanings/images were essentially the same. In that respect, it is important to note this volume is not only dedicated to exploration of the two Administrations in questions from, in terms of analysis of their respective foreign policy discourses, but, on the other hand, is also directed towards comparison of these two discourses in order to prove continuity in the US foreign policy goals and interests, i.e. continuity in those dominant meanings/images transmitted in the discourse(s), in the region from one Administration to the other. Finally, the points presented here need to be taken into consideration when discussing contributions of this respective project, chiefly the analysis of the G. W. Bush Administration’s record in the Western Balkans that has not so far been sufficiently researched.
See US State Department at: http://www.state.gov/p/eur/rt/balkans/
1.2. STRUCTURE OF THE VOLUME
This volume is divided into six sections and thus organized in the
1. An introductory part to the volume is comprised of the following
chapters that are ordered as follows:
1. This first chapter discusses the nature of the research issue,
where both aims and goals of this respective research are also
presented; 2. The second chapter is aimed at presenting the structure of the
volume; and, 3. The third chapter is directed at discussing past research and,
in general terms, contribution of this volume to the field.
2. Theoretical Assumptions is the second section consisting of the
1. The first chapter is intended to argue Social Constructivism in
the field of International Relations; 2. The second chapter aims at discussing impact of language on
social science, both in general terms and in more particular
aspects in relation to this project; 3. The third chapter discusses aims of the research done here; 4. The fourth chapter is dedicated to development and presenta
tion of research questions, and, 5. The last chapter in the second part is defining data used in this
3. The third section, entitled Methodological Assumptions, is di
vided in the following manner:
1. The first chapter defines Discourse and Discourse Analysis (DA);
2. The second chapter presents arguments about various ap
proaches to Discourse Analysis (DA); 3. The third one is dedicated to defining and explaining Political
Discourse Analysis (PDA); 4. The fourth one introduces Discourse Analysis (DA) in this
project; 5. The fifth chapter defines Content Analysis (CA) as a pre-ana
lytical tool used before Discourse Analysis (DA); 6. The sixth chapter provides details the use of Content Analysis
(CA) as a tool in this project, and, last but not least,