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An understanding of the last decade's events in the former Yugoslavia and the Balkans in general is most fruitfully approached through historical analysis. The passage of this troubled region through the Ottoman Empire, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and the Soviet sphere of influence -- always in conjunction with its age-old geopolitical fate as a buffer zone between several conflicting cultures of power -- has not only contributed decisively to its continuing instability, but has also left in its wake several minorities that remain unrepresented by the region's nation-states. This unique book examines the international law of minority rights as it has been applied in the Balkans since the First World War, contending that this region, where minority rights issues are acute and abundant, holds the promise of an enforceable regime of international minority rights that would promote both human rights law and peace in the Balkans.