Disentangling a controversial history of turmoil and progress, this Handbook provides essential guidance through the complex past of a region that was previously known as the Balkans but is now better known as Southeastern Europe. It gathers 47 international scholars and researchers from the region. They stand back from the premodern claims and recent controversies stirred by the wars of Yugoslavia’s dissolution.

Parts I and II explore shifting early modern divisions among three empires to the national movements and independent states that intruded with Great Power intervention on Ottoman and Habsburg territory in the nineteenth century. Part III traces a full decade of war centered on the First World War, with forced migrations rivalling the great loss of life. Part IV addresses the interwar promise and the later authoritarian politics of five newly independent states: Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, Romania, and Yugoslavia. Separate attention is paid in Part V to the spread of European economic and social features that had begun in the nineteenth century. The Second World War again cost the region dearly in death and destruction and, as noted in Part VI, in interethnic violence. A final set of chapters in Part VII examines postwar and Cold War experiences that varied among the four Communist regimes as well as for non-Communist Greece. Lastly, a brief Epilogue takes the narrative past 1989 into the uncertainties that persist in Yugoslavia’s successor states and its neighbors.

Providing fresh analysis from recent scholarship, the brief and accessible chapters of the Handbook address the general reader as well as students and scholars. For further study, each chapter includes a short list of selected readings.

chapter |5 pages

Introductory overview

Premodern borders and modern controversies
ByJohn R. Lampe, Ulf Brunnbauer

part I|44 pages

The early modern Balkans as imperial borderlands

chapter |9 pages


The Balkans divided between three empires
ByJohn R. Lampe

chapter 2|9 pages

The Venetian-Ottoman borderland in Dalmatia

ByJosip Vrandečić

chapter 3|7 pages

The Phanariot regime in the Romanian Principalities, 1711/1716–1821

ByConstantin Iordachi

chapter 4|9 pages

Ottoman Bosnia and the Bosnian Muslims

ByLeyla Amzi-Erdogdular

part II|93 pages

Nation- and state-building, 1815–1914

chapter |10 pages


Nations and states between changing borders and the Great Powers in the “long” nineteenth century
ByJohn R. Lampe

chapter 5|9 pages

Nineteenth-century national identities in the Balkans

Evolution and contention
ByDiana Mishkova

chapter 6|8 pages

Bulgaria from liberation to independence, 1878–1908

ByRoumen Daskalov

chapter 8|9 pages

Montenegro as an independent state, 1878–1912

ByJohn D. Treadway

chapter 9|6 pages

The agrarian question in Romania, 1744–1921

ByConstantin Iordachi

chapter 11|9 pages

Serbia’s promise and problems, 1903–1914

ByDubravka Stojanović

chapter 12|6 pages

The Macedonian Question

Asked and answered, 1878–1913
ByKeith Brown

chapter 13|7 pages

Austria-Hungary and the Balkans

ByRoumiana Preshlenova

chapter 14|9 pages

Bosnia-Herzegovina under Austria-Hungary

From occupation to assassination, 1878–1914
ByRobert J. Donia

part III|55 pages

The Balkan Wars and the First World War, 1912–1923

chapter |8 pages


Armies and occupations, peace settlements and forced migrations
ByJohn R. Lampe

chapter 15|8 pages

Bulgaria’s wars and defeats, 1912–1919

ByRichard Hall

chapter 16|9 pages

After empire

The First World War and the question of Albanian independence
ByLejnar Mitrojorgji

chapter 17|9 pages

Greece from national expansion to schism and catastrophe, 1912–1922

ByStefan Papaioannou

chapter 18|10 pages

Habsburg South Slavs in peace and war, 1912–1918

ByRok Stergar

chapter 19|9 pages

From Salonica to Belgrade

The emergence of Yugoslavia, 1917–1921
ByDejan Djokić

part IV|88 pages

Southeastern European states and national politics, 1922–1939

chapter |10 pages


The interwar decades from parliamentary struggles and international pressures to authoritarian regimes
ByJohn R. Lampe

chapter 20|10 pages

Interwar ideas and images of nation, class, and gender

ByBalázs Trencsényi

chapter 21|8 pages

Interwar women’s movements from the Little Entente to nationalism

ByMarijana Kardum

chapter 22|9 pages

Interwar Greece

Its generals, a republic, and the monarchy
ByKaterina Lagos

chapter 23|8 pages

Bulgaria from Stamboliiski and IMRO to Tsar Boris, 1919–1943

ByRoumen Daskalov

chapter 24|9 pages

The Legion “Archangel Michael” in Romania, 1927–1941

ByConstantin Iordachi

chapter 25|6 pages

Albania between Fan Noli, King Zog, and Italian hegemony

ByRobert C. Austin

chapter 26|9 pages

The Croat Peasant Party

From Stjepan Radić to Vladko Maček
ByMark Biondich

chapter 27|8 pages

Serbia, Kosovo, and Macedonia from revolt and resettlement to repression

ByVladan Jovanović

chapter 28|9 pages

Yugoslav identity in the interwar period

ByChristian Axboe Nielsen

part V|65 pages

Economies and societies, 1878–1939

chapter |10 pages


Challenges of change. Economic and population growth, social and cultural transformations up to World War II
ByUlf Brunnbauer

chapter 29|7 pages

Demographic growth

Patterns and problems, 1878–1939
BySiegfried Gruber

chapter 30|10 pages

Financing economic growth and facing foreign debt, 1878–1939

ByJohn R. Lampe

chapter 31|7 pages

Modern manufacture, state support, and foreign investment

Comparing Balkan textile industries, 1878–1939
ByJelena Rafajlović, John R. Lampe

chapter 32|9 pages

Neighbors into foreigners: the Greeks in Bulgaria, 1878–1941

ByTheodora Dragostinova

chapter 34|4 pages

Eugenics and race in Southeastern Europe

ByMarius Turda

chapter 35|8 pages

Sofia and Plovdiv between the world wars

ByMary Neuburger

part VI|63 pages

From the Second World War to the establishment of the postwar regimes, 1939–1949

chapter |8 pages


Collaboration and occupation, resistance and civil war, regime change
ByJohn R. Lampe

chapter 37|10 pages

Romania in the Second World War

ByVladimir Solonari

chapter 39|9 pages

Partisans and Chetniks in occupied Yugoslavia

ByHeather Williams

chapter 40|8 pages

An oppressive liberation

Yugoslavia 1944–1948
ByZoran Janjetović

chapter 41|9 pages

Greece from occupation and resistance to civil war, 1941–1949

ByIoannis D. Stefanidis

part VII|88 pages

Cold War division and European transition, 1949–1989

chapter |10 pages


Communist regimes and the Greek exception
ByJohn R. Lampe, Ulf Brunnbauer

chapter 42|8 pages

The collectivization of agriculture in Southeastern Europe

ByArnd Bauerkämper

chapter 43|8 pages

The Soviet factor in Bulgaria’s foreign policy

ByMihail Gruev

chapter 44|9 pages

Enver Hoxha’s Albania

Yugoslav, Soviet, and Chinese relations and ruptures
ByElidor Mëhilli

chapter 45|7 pages

Ceaușescu’s National Communism as National Stalinism

ByVladimir Tismaneanu, Marius Stan

chapter 46|9 pages

Yugoslavia’s third way: the rise and fall of self-management

ByVladimir Unkovski-Korica

chapter 47|9 pages

Greece’s Cold War

Exceptionalism in Southeastern Europe
ByOthon Anastasakis

chapter 48|9 pages

Yugoslavia’s political endgame

Serbia and Slovenia in the 1980s
ByJasna Dragović-Soso

chapter 49|8 pages

Changes of social structure from the late 1940s to the 1980s

ByUlf Brunnbauer

chapter 50|9 pages

Financing industrialization, 1949–1989

From foreign aid to foreign debt
ByJohn R. Lampe

part VIII|22 pages


chapter |5 pages


Southeastern Europe after the Cold War
ByJohn R. Lampe, Ulf Brunnbauer

chapter 51|7 pages

Yugoslavia’s wars of succession 1991–1999

ByMarie-Janine Calic

chapter 52|8 pages

From foreign intervention to European integration

Southeastern Europe since 1989
ByKlaus Buchenau