New threat perceptions: the case of the former Soviet bloc and Yugoslavia

Fecha de publicación:
Vladimir Baranovsy

Are there any common characteristics of threat perceptions in the case of all the postcommunist countries? It seems quite obvious that they could haardly be addressed -both analytically and politically- as a certain entity where the participants share similar concerns and face similar challenges. Even in the past this approach required some serious qualifications -not only in the case of non-aligned yugoslavia but also with respect to speciproblems of practically all the Warsaw Pact countries. However, a number of major domestic and international parameters did minimize the differences and provided a certain common ground for security perceptions of all those states. The situation has certainly changed in the most radical way. Since 1989 all the major sources of “commonality” have disappeared. The post-communist countries have no longer a common interest in protecting the domestic assets of “real socialism”, such as the ideological monism, political preponderance of the party-based nomenclatura, rejection of private ownership and non-market economic mechanisms. As the regional international actors, they do not have any longer to operate under “Big Brother's” vigilant control and to proced from the assumption that the Soviet Union is undoubtedly the most significant military factor in the area. and to level of the global international system, the political and security constraints of bipolarity have also become a fact history. Moreover, the list of the international actors in the geopolitical space of the former Soviet bloc has undergone (and is still undergoing) the most fundamental changes as well. For many of the “newscomers” the very problem of threat percepction goes far beyond its traditional meaning since their viability remains unclear. This makes the whole picture even more complex and any generalizations even less appropriate.