the domination of communism in the world

Liberalisation and the so-called “Third Way”

The Yugoslav crisis forced Tito to open up more widely to economic relations with the West,
which in turn led to the liberalisation of the country's economic policy. It was characterised
by greater decentralisation and the freedom left to the federal republics in the matter of
economic governance, which in practice eliminated the dogma of central supervision over
economic matters. Economic liberalisation was also followed by liberalisation in the field of
culture and art, which was not subject to as much pressure (or even control) as in the
countries of the Soviet bloc. Greater political freedom was also introduced, although the
possibility of other parties and groups operating outside the CPY and later the Union of
Yugoslavian Communists (the official name of the party since October 1952) was strictly
excluded. The fact that Yugoslavia found itself formally outside the Soviet bloc also gave it
greater freedom in its foreign policy. Formally representing its own "third way" and
neutrality towards the Cold War conflict, it enabled Tito to manoeuvre between the two
blocs and to benefit Yugoslavia itself. An excellent example of this was the NATO guarantees
that Yugoslavia received in the event of aggression by the USSR. This significantly increased
its importance in the region of Central and Eastern Europe, thanks to which it could be an
actor and not a protagonist of international policy.

The 1960s and 1970s brought further liberalisation of internal policies and economic
reforms, bringing Yugoslavia ever closer to a free market economy. However, the relatively
balanced economic development did not go hand in hand with the calming down of the
national elements of the republics forming the federation. Centrifugal tendencies and long-
standing and still unsettled ethnic conflicts (especially between Serbs and Croats and the
Albanian minority in Kosovo) increasingly emerged.