Carla Konta
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Beyond the 1960s
in US public diplomacy in socialist Yugoslavia, 1950–70
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This chapter examines how Yugoslav reform policies, from the mid-1960s on, stemmed from Yugoslav leaders favouring decentralization and more economic freedom, as well as dissidents’ movements that brought critics of Yugoslav socialism into the Party and influenced public opinion. The chapter shows how the anti-LCY (League of Communists of Yugoslavia) movements were never openly supported by the US government, nor calling for the US and Western liberal democracies to be their inspiration; but they were asking for more pluralism in the Yugoslav political and cultural arena. This convinced US policymakers and field officers to consider these requests to be inspired by US public diplomatic policies, striving to influence the regime from outside to entice change from within. The chapter addresses the US connections of many Yugoslav dissidents, such as Croatian Savka Dabčević-Kučar, Praxis philosophers, and Mihajlo Mihajlov, but also the Serbian Liberals. The chapter acknowledges how the renewed Tito–Nixon partnership, due to the threat of the Brezhnev Doctrine, shifted Yugoslav concern about American influence and incentivized excellent economic and cultural cooperation in the 1970s.

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