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By Raymond Aron

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In Bulgaria pro-Western elites—even if not completely liberal—responded promptly to minority demands; in Macedonia nonreformed postcommunist elites addressed contentious minority educational issues only after Albanians had broadened their appeals and merged them with other demands perceived as territorial. The postcommunist Serbian government halfheartedly addressed Kosovar 22 Introduction educational concerns only after they were integrated into the parallel state with its clear agenda pursued initially through nonviolent resistance.

Tensions around the functioning of a semi-parallel university. Minority demonstrations crushed and leaders imprisoned. Tensions around the semi-parallel university. Tensions related to the Kosovo crisis. Guerrilla clashes with government forces. Kosovo 1989 1990–1997 1998–1999 Several violent demonstrations crushed by the police. Government violence against minority members on a daily basis. All out clashes between guerrillas and governmental forces involving civilians on a large-scale basis. Figure 2.

59 The critical juncture of the end of communism gave significant discretion to the majority and minority elites in these three cases to decide how to approach the minority status change. Their decisions, of course, were informed by antecedent conditions, such as federal versus unitary statehood, constitutional understandings of ethnonational diversity, recent experiences of violence, growing nationalism among dominant nations, and mutually exclusive expectations of future status. But unlike structural accounts that see such conditions as decisively shaping the use of violence, I see them as informing the choices of elites responding to contingent events in the rapidly changing political environment.

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