The violent destruction of Yugoslavia, at a time when most post-Communist societies were embarking on a process of democratization, contributed to the idea that the Balkans do not share the same culture, beliefs, history or religion as people in the West. Many foreign commentators employed images and historical analogies that underlined a notion of Balkan separateness, backwardness and barbarity - if not in opposition, then clearly not equal to, the level of civilization in the West. This essay, using the burgeoning body of 'Balkanist' theory, shall examine the demonization of the Serbs and the demonization of commentators, both in Serbia and the West, who defended the Serbs. Discussions of 'Balkanism', feed into the construction of an image of Balkan lands and their inhabitants, and become important to the study of both the negative and positive portrayal of the most disparaged group; the Serbs.
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