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members, questioned the degree of happiness and freedom that those under the Ottoman Empire enjoyed. Debates have occurred and will continue to occur over this question, but the fact remains, there was peaceful coexistence and therefore, peaceful coexistence in the future is possible. The broader, more important, and less debatable point, is that the Balkans have been developing the ideas and institutions necessary to make the shift to liberal democracy, albeit slower than the rest of Europe. The beginning of the acceptance of liberalism within the region is the foundation for Mazower's optimism for the region.

Related to but somewhat different to blaming the Balkan people for the violence is the last "excuse," which is that the violent culture is a result of a primeval ethnic hatred for each other. As with most arguments supporting some sort of primeval ethnic hatred, it is dismissed easily by pointing out that violence in the area has not been occurring since the dawn of time, but primarily over the last one hundred years. Instead of some inherent quality in the people of this region, "the massacres that have happened were organized efforts to defeat cultures or nations that did not live [one group's particular] way."

The future for ending such efforts in the Balkans has some hurdles, most notably Kosovo and Bosnia-Herzegovina, but it looks increasingly hopeful. With Milosovic's aggressiveness in Kosovo, an understanding that war is not necessarily a guarantee of national strength and instead can bankrupt a nation has been established, the Balkans may be entering into the latest stage of "Western enlightenment," that of collective security and humanitarianism. Mazower's presentation did an excellent job at making those people in the Balkans more human, more understandable, and illustrated that they are on their way, albeit slowly and bumpily, to the peace and stability that characterizes Western "civilization."

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