Western Newspapers a and the War in Croatia

Davor Pauković, Marko Roško


At the time of the disintegration of Yugoslavia and the beginning of the war in Croatia in 1991, the Balkans were not in the focus of Western politics, which was preoccupied with the collapse of the USSR and the Gulf War. The dominant position of Western policy was the preservation of Yugoslavia and the maintenance of geopolitical stability. In the second half of 1991, under the influence of the war in Croatia, Western policy slowly turned towards the possibility of the disintegration of Yugoslavia and the recognition of the independence of Slovenia and Croatia. The article analyzes the American and British newspaper narratives about the war in Croatia during the five-month peak of the conflict, from September 1991 to January 1992. The analysis was conducted on four daily newspapers, two American (The New York Times, Los Angeles Times) and two British (The Independent, The Guardian). A total of 920 texts were analyzed through coding based on the adoption of a pro-Croatian, pro-Serbian, or neutral position. The research shows that more texts about the war in Croatia were published in the analyzed British newspapers. Secondly, the narrative is significantly marked by a neutral stance, which coincides with the unclear and undefined policy of the West towards the Yugoslav crisis. Thirdly, there were significantly more pro-Croatian than pro-Serbian texts in the analyzed period.



dissolution of Yugoslavia; war in Croatia; British newspapers; American newspapers; newspaper narratives

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