The Aftermath of War: Experiences and Social Attitudes in the Western Balkans, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Aftermath of War

Experiences and Social Attitudes in the Western Balkans, 1st Edition

By Albert Simkus

Edited by Kristen Ringdal


334 pages

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At a time when most observers saw war in Europe as belonging to an ever more distant past, the wars of Yugoslav succession shattered this illusion. The direct and indirect consequences of these wars for people in the region are still not fully understood, but it is clear that the war has had far reaching social and political consequences for each national society as a whole. This groundbreaking volume provides a series of analyses of experiences and social attitudes in the Western Balkans in the aftermath of those wars. Based on survey data from 22,000 respondents, the editors have created a volume which contributes to our understanding of both specific war-related effects as well as a detailed description of contemporary attitudes and values across these societies. This book will be of interest to academic specialists and students interested in the effects of war on psychological health and on ethnic relations in the Western Balkans as well as how this applies to other post-conflict societies. It will also be of interest to sociologists, political scientists, and historians studying differences in attitudes between the countries, ethnic groups, and generations in this region related to diverse topics from ethnic tolerance to states’ responsibility for equality and gender roles.


'The Aftermath of War details social conditions in the Western Balkans … in the years since the Yugoslav Wars. … may nonetheless of interest to scholars of the Western Balkans and social scientists engaged in wider cross-national comparisons.' Anthropology of East Europe Review 'The Aftermath of War by Kristen Ringdal and Albert Simkus is the most far-reaching and sophisticated work available on the consequences of the unexpected and brutal war that ended the dream of a united Yugoslavia. It sets important and far-reaching baselines for the study of the health and emotional consequences of war and its effects on tolerance and human relations.’ Randy Hodson, Ohio State University, USA ’This book is a valuable study of societies in the Western Balkans. It is unparalleled in its depth and comprehensiveness in examining attitudes towards identity, modernisation and ethnicity in the region. Future research will be unable ignore the book’s findings. The rich analyses based on an impressive cross-country survey provide for a better understanding of post-war societies and challenge conventional wisdom.’ Florian Bieber, University of Graz, Austria '… the discussions and conclusions of the chapters were certainly illuminating… Among the volume’s chapters are also very interesting and well-researched survey studies of health and happiness and of attitudes to gender roles, patriarchal values, homosexuality and political and economic liberalism. Though not always an easy read, this book contains a lot of valuable information for students of the Western Balkans and of post-war societies and conflict-ridden regions.' Journal of Contemporary European Studies

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface; Introduction, Kristen Ringdal and Albert Simkus; Solving the mystery of ethnic history: an introduction, Sabrina P. Ramet; War experiences and war-related distress in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, and Kosovo, Gerd Inger Ringdal and Kristen Ringdal; Changes in war-related distress in Croatia 1996-2004, Gerd Inger Ringdal, Kristen Ringdal and Zan Strabac; Health and happiness in a European comparison, Terje Andreas Eikemo and Kristen Ringdal; Socioeconomic inequalities in health in the Western Balkans, Terje Andreas Eikemo and Kristen Ringdal; Nationality, state and values in the Western Balkans, Albert Simkus; Security dilemmas and ethnic intolerance in the Western Balkans, Tanja Ellingsen, Kristen Ringdal, Albert Simkus and Zan Strabac; Social distance and ethnic hierarchies in Croatia, Zan Strabac; Disaggregating public opinion on the ethnic conflict in Macedonia, Kristen Ringdal, Albert Simkus and Ola Listhaug; Patriarchal value orientations in the Western Balkans, Jelena Pesic; ’The whole universe is heterosexual!’ Correlates of homonegativity in seven south-east European countries, Marija Brajdic Vukovic and Aleksandar Å tulhofer; Post-socialist transformation and value changes of the middle class in Serbia, Mladen Lazi and Slobodan Cveji; Expectations about the present and future of Bosnia-Herzegovina: optimism or pessimism?, Maria Elena Sandovici and Ola Listhaug; Conclusions, Kristen Ringdal and AlbertSimkus; Appendix: data and methods, Kristen Ringdal and Albert Simkus; Index.

About the Author/Editor

Kristen Ringdal is Professor of Sociology in the Department of Sociology and Political Science, The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim, Norway. Albert Simkus is Professor of Sociology in the Department of Sociology and Political Science, The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim, Norway.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General