Pathfinder Repository


War in the Former Yugoslavia: 1991-1999

This Pathfinder is no longer being actively maintained by ipl.

General Purpose

The purpose of this pathfinder is to serve as a starting point for research on the wars that has taken place this decade in the former Yugoslavia, in Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and now Kosovo. It is designed for high school and college-level students, as well as the general public. This pathfinder contains links to a variety of Web resources, as well as suggestions for finding print sources and a brief bibliography. Please be aware that while the following list of sources offers a variety of perspectives, it is by no means a comprehensive collection of what is available on this subject.


The former Yugoslavia was located in the region of Southeastern Europe known as the Balkans. It consisted of 6 individual republics: Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Slovenia. After a steady rise in nationalist tensions during the 1980s, Yugoslavia fell apart at the beginning of this decade. Bloody ethnic conflicts took place in Croatia from 1991-95, Bosnia from 1992-95, and now Kosovo. Today, Serbia and Montenegro form the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, in which Serbia is the dominant force, while the other 4 republics are independent states. Kosovo, the region where the current conflict is taking place, is a province within Serbia. The population of Kosovo, however, is comprised mostly of ethnic Albanians who are unhappy under Serbian rule. Both Serbs and Albanians have longstanding historical claims to Kosovo.

General Internet Resources on the Yugoslav Conflict

For basic information on each of the former Yugoslav republics, such as population, major cities, and heads of state, we recommend the online versions of the CIA World Factbook (http://www.odci.gov/cia/publications/factbook/index.html), and the Information Please Almanac (http://www.infoplease.com/). Among other things, the Information Please site includes a Kosovo factsheet. (Please note that in both of these sources, the entry for Yugoslavia is listed under “Serbia and Montenegro”. That is because the US and many other nations refuse to recognize the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia as a legitimate successor to the former Yugoslav state.) In addition, the following sites are useful sources of information on the region:

  • Hellenic Resources Network: Sources on the Balkan Peninsula (http://www.hri.org/nodes/balkans.html). An extensive directory of Web sites covering the entire Balkan region, not just the former Yugoslavia. Organized alphabetically by country. Useful for more thorough research.
  • Library of Congress Country Study: Yugoslavia (http://lcweb2.loc.gov/frd/cs/yutoc.html). Produced in December 1990, shortly before the breakup of the former Yugoslavia, this document provides an excellent introduction to the history of the region and its peoples, and the background of the wars that have taken place this decade.
  • Yahoo’s Balkan Directory (http://dir.yahoo.com/Regional/Regions/Europe/Regions/Balkan_States/). Directory of Web resources on the Balkans, organized by country and subject area.

News Resources

These are links to some of the major news networks and organizations covering the situation in the former Yugoslavia. While most are focused on the latest news from Kosovo, they also offer some background information about the region. In most cases, the link below is to that organization’s index of resources on Kosovo and the Balkans.

  • British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) (http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/static/kosovo_fact_files/default.stm). Comprehensive source of news and background information on the war in Kosovo. Includes a special section on how the conflict is being covered on the Internet.
  • Cable News Network (CNN) (http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/1998/10/kosovo/). Extensive source of news and background information on the conflict, including key documents, a timeline of events, and articles from Time magazine.
  • Institute of War and Peace Reporting (http://www.iwpr.net/balkans_index1.html). Contains a variety of news reports written by Balkan journalists. Includes articles from the Yugoslav media. An excellent source of news from a regional perspective.
  • New York Times (http://www.nytimes.com/library/world/kosovo-index.html). An index of NYT articles on the Kosovo conflict, as well as links to other sites, background information, and resources for educators. Available for free, but does require registration.
  • Tanjug News Agency (http://www.tanjug.co.yu/). Web site of the official Yugoslav news agency. Offers latest news and a section presenting the Serbian perspective on Kosovo.

Official and Government Resources

The following Web sites all belong to governments or international organizations. Each offers news on that organization’s activities, as well as its perspective on the Balkan situation.

  • Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (http://www.gov.yu/). News and information from the Yugoslav government on the war in Kosovo and on Yugoslavia in general. Includes official statements, statistics, and an online text describing the official Yugoslav and Serbian claim to Kosovo.
  • International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (http://www.un.org/icty/index.html). United Nations affiliated court responsible for prosecuting war crimes committed in the former Yugoslavia. Contains a large number of documents, press releases, publications, and information on specific cases before the tribunal.
  • North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) (http://www.nato.int/). Contains press releases, texts of briefings, maps, and background information on the NATO alliance and its current operations in the Balkans.
  • Office of the High Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina (http://www.ohr.int/). United Nations appointed representative responsible for overseeing peacekeeping efforts in this former Yugoslav republic. Contains numerous documents and other publications.
  • Serbian Ministry of Information (http://www.serbia-info.com/). Official Serbian news and information on the Kosovo situation. Also offers basic statistics and information on the Serbian government and political structure.
  • United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (http://www.unhcr.ch/cgi-bin/texis/vtx/home). Offers detailed news and information on the Kosovo refugee crisis, and information on refugees from the earlier wars in Bosnia and Croatia.
  • US Department of Defense (http://www.defenselink.mil/). Source of official information on US and NATO military operations in the former Yugoslavia.
  • US Department of State International Information Program: Balkan Issues (http://www.usia.gov/regional/eur/balkans/). Offers official US Government documents and press releases on the situation in the Balkans. Includes sections on Bosnia and Kosovo.
  • US Department of State Kosovo Page (http://www.state.gov/www/regions/eur/kosovo_hp.html). Contains State Department press releases, remarks by Secretary of State Albright and other officials, documents and background materials on the situation in Kosovo. Has archived documents back to 1995.

Other Web Resources

  • Bosnia Home Page (http://www.cco.caltech.edu/~bosnia/bosnia.html). Contains extensive quantity of links, articles and other resources on the 1992-95 war in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Presented from a Bosnian Muslim perspective.
  • FAS Military Analysis Network – Target Kosovo (http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/ops/kosovo.htm). Sponsored by the Federation of American Scientists, this site is an invaluable resource for following the conflict in Kosovo. Includes detailed military information, links to news articles, and an exhaustive list of other Web resources.
  • Jane’s Kosovo Special (http://defence.janes.com/). In-depth coverage and analysis of the military conflict over Kosovo, from the Web site of the respected defense publisher Jane’s.
  • Kosova Crisis Center (http://www.alb-net.com/index.htm). News and information on the situation in Kosovo, from an Albanian perspective.
  • The World’s Most Wanted Man (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/karadzic). Companion Web site to PBS documentary about Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic. Contains articles, essays, maps and other information on the War in Bosnia and ethnic cleansing.

Finding Print Resources

While Web and other Internet resources are an excellent source of immediate information about the situation in Yugoslavia, anyone seeking to thoroughly study the historical origins and background of the conflict will need to turn to books and other print sources. The best way to find such sources is by searching the online catalog at your local library. We recommend searching by subject, using the following Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH). Here are a few subject terms you might wish to use:

Bosnia and Hercegovina—History
Kosovo (Serbia)—History
Yugoslav War, 1991-

In addition, you might try browsing the stacks at your local library. If your library uses the Library of Congress (LC) classification scheme favored by most academic libraries in the United States, then you will most likely find relevant works classified under DR. Under the Dewey Decimal Classification employed by almost all North American public libraries, books about the conflict in Yugoslavia can be found starting with the number 949.


The following is a brief bibliography of works that provide a useful introduction to the wars that have ravaged the former Yugoslavia this decade. It is by no means comprehensive. Most of these books include bibliographies that suggest further sources for research, and can be found at your local bookstore or library.

Glenny, Misha. The fall of Yugoslavia : the third Balkan war . London ; New York : Penguin, 1992.
Judah, Tim. The Serbs : history, myth, and the destruction of Yugoslavia. New Haven : Yale University Press, c1997.
Malcolm, Noel. Bosnia : a short history. Washington Square, N.Y. : New York University Press, 1996.
Malcolm, Noel. Kosovo : a short history. New York : New York University Press, 1998.
Silber, Laura. Yugoslavia : death of a nation. New York : Penguin Books, 1997.
Vickers, Miranda. Between Serb and Albanian : a history of Kosovo. New York : Columbia University Press, c1998.

This pathfinder was created by David Durant