Perpetrator Studies Network


Serbian Paramilitaries and the Breakup of Yugoslavia: State Connections and Patterns of Violence

By Iva Vukušić.

This is the first book to offer a comprehensive analysis of the emergence, nature, and function of Serbian paramilitary units during the violent breakup of Yugoslavia.

In the book, Vukušić investigates the nature and functions of paramilitary units throughout the 1990s, and their ties to the state and President Slobodan Milošević. The work relies on the archives of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague, which conducted dozens of trials relating to paramilitary violence, and records from judicial proceedings in the region.

Vukušić discusses how and why certain important paramilitary units emerged, how they functioned and transformed through the decade, what their relationships and entanglements were with the state, the Milošević regime, and organized crime.

The study thus investigates the interrelated ideological, political, and social factors and processes, fueling paramilitary engagement, and assesses the impact of this engagement on victims of paramilitary violence and on the state and society for which the units purportedly fought.