In spite of ostensibly similar starting points in 1991, Croatia and Serbia have followed somewhat different political trajectories since then. Three alternative hypotheses may be advanced to account for this. The first draws attention to differences in the degree of corruption and criminalization of politics. The second emphasizes structural and institutional differences, which widened in the years since 1991. The third stresses the impact of history textbooks, media and wartime propaganda on each nation's political culture. While all three hypotheses have something to offer, structural and institutional differences and differences in political culture have been more important than corruption or criminalization in accounting for the specific differences in the political paths of these two countries.
Ramet, Sabrina P. (2011) Croatia and Serbia since 1991: An Assessment of Their Similarities and Differences, East European Politics 27 (2): 263–290.