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Jovan Čavoški, PhD
Institute for Recent History of Serbia
Belgrade, Republic of Serbia

 

AND AFTER TITO… NO ONE. YUGOSLAVIA AND THE CRISIS OF THE NON-ALIGNED MOVEMENT DURING THE EARLY 1980s

Vol. XLII, 1/2024, pp. 233-256
https://doi.org/10.29362/ist20veka.2024.1.cav.233-256

 

ABSTRACT/RESUME:

This article is dedicated to the deepening crisis the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) had been going through after the Yugoslav-Cuban ideological showdown during the sixth summit in Havana in September 1979. This period of profound contradictions would last well into the 1980s, even though in the early years of that decade, topic of this article, which were truly the most intensive ones, it seemed as if the entire dire situation had been successfully resolved and the NAM had been brought back to its original positions. Soon enough, due to his advanced age and feeble health conditions, the long-standing Yugoslav leader Josip Broz Tito passed away, leaving the entire movement in a period of institutional paralysis, while facing an ideological void, particularly in the field of leadership, that both forces inside the organization, as well as the two superpowers, were trying to incessantly exploit as to either impose their will on others or make the entire endeavor totally irrelevant. These were also the times of the so-called Second Cold War, one of the most intensive periods of super-power confrontation both in Europe and around the Third World that would mark the first half of the 1980s, when the necessity for the NAM to take its principled stand and assist the peace-loving forces in the world for bringing back stability and predict-ability into the world situation would have been most needed. Unfortunately, due to a plethora of internal contradictions, bilateral conflicts, and conceptual breakdowns the NAM was more preoccupied with itself than with the problems of the world at large. This particularly frustrated the post-Tito Yugoslav leadership that understood well that reinvigorating the NAM and finding again its true essence were paramount tasks, however, without Tito and with so many escalating issues at hand, things seemed as being beyond reasonable repair. Nevertheless, since Yugoslavia’s own survival on the international stage was tightly connected to the protracted existence of both non-alignment and the NAM, Yugoslav officials, mainly assisted by their Indian allies, had managed to steer the movement back into its original position of old fundamental principles and strict equidistance towards both blocs. These efforts would be most recognizable during the preparations for the seventh summit that would eventually take place in New Delhi in March 1983, thus marking the apex of Yugoslavia’s engagement with the NAM during this crisis period.

 

KEYWORDS: Non-Aligned Movement, Yugoslavia, Second Cold War, Leadership, seventh summit

 

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