The Balkans Essay

Submitted By lalahomework
Words: 1016
Pages: 5

Not many people are aware of what balkanization is. Many misinterpret it, and some have never heard of such a word. Here, in the United States, we don’t often use a word like balkanization because there is no need for it. When a larger county breaks apart, we can interpret this as balkanization. The word balkanization is a geopolitical word. In Europe, there is a region called the Balkans; in this region, a war broke out during 1992 causing Yugoslavia to divide into smaller countries. The word balkanization took its popularity very recently. During the 19th century, the Balkans were not as organized as they are today. This is when the word balkanize came to its popularity. Journalist would often use the word Balkanization to describe the event of 1992- most commonly known as the Yugoslavian wars. The southeastern countries of Europe underwent a major war the Balkanized the entire area. In 1920, the word Balkanization was most prominently used and it was used to describe the separation of the Ottoman Empire as it fell apart during that time frame. This was one of the most memorable events in the Balkans, hence, the word Balkanization is usually used to reffer to the countries in the Balkans. So it can be confidently said that the word Balkanization took its place during World War One.
However, there was a slightly different definition for this word in the Oxford dictionary. Balkanization was simply defined as “to divide- a country or region- into small, often hostile units”. After checking Webster’s dictionary as well, I found that they defined the word balkanization the same way the Oxford dictionary did. This many not always be the case but most often a county can become hostile after breaking off on its own. This separation and hostile feeling often happens after a war. The problem is, including the word hostile in the definition for balkanization is creates a negative imagine for the Balkan land. For this reason is should not be included in the definition. Neither dictionary states a reason for hostility, it simply mentions that the newly divided units are hostile. A county that is said to be hostile, or defined as hostile, might scare away potential tourists as well as create negative feelings, thoughts, or views on certain countries or areas.
During 1992, the Balkans-specifically Croatia, Bosnia and Serbia- had a war calling for separation. The war was not only for separation but a fight for land as well. My father served the army during the time of the war. After asking him a few questions about the war, he admitted to the hostile feelings that overtook everyone during the war. This of course is only during the time of war; the war lasted a few years. Obviously hostility is natural during a war. Neither dictionary, Oxford nor Webster, mentions a time frame of hostility. It simply states that the units that are divided are hostile.
My parents moved to Chicago in 1997 so we did not experience the after-war lifestyle in Bosnia. Since we have most of our family still living in the Balkans, we visit them every two years. My experience with the visits did not include any hostile feelings as the dictionary mentioned. Even family that has lived in the Balkans for generations have said that our countries have not become hostile units. The economies of the separated countries have not yet grown to their full potential but they continue to improve every year. During each of my visits, I have noticed that many businesses, including small businesses, have not had a difficult time remaining successful. Most laws still remain the same and if they were modified, they were done for improvement. When a county undergoes hostility, their economies often decline, laws become more strict, businesses usually close, and in some cases the population declines due to many people relocating.
Using the word