Yugoslavia combines a one-party system and limited individual freedom with a federal structure which is based on and encourages ethnic differences and must somehow control their centrifugal dynamics. Ramet's explanation of how it works is that the system operates through a flexible balance of power among the constituent republics similar to the international system in Europe prior to 1914. For students of Yugoslavia the great merit of the book is the way in which he follows the threads of nationalism, party theory, economic policy and power struggles through the succession of crises that have afflicted the country since the early 1960s. As for Ramet's theory, it is ingenious and worth further testing. Ramet does not claim that it solves Yugoslavia's nationality problem or that there is any solution. Europe's balance-of-power system was also sometimes described as "the international anarchy."
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