Faculty Advisor

Tromly, Ben

Area of Study

Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

Publication Date

Summer 2021


As one of the most knowledgeable reporters in the region, David Binder’s career with New York Times lasted more than fifty years, defined by reports on European events from the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961 to the end of the Cold War and its aftermath. Having a personal and intellectual affinity for Yugoslavia, Binder returned to the region at the end of the 1980’s to report on the growing ethnic friction that followed Tito’s death and the re-emergence of nationalism in the federation’s constituent republics. When Yugoslavia began its slow and violent collapse in 1991, Binder reported on the fighting that broke out between Croatia and Serbia, as well as the war in Bosnia and conflict in Kosovo that followed. What is remarkable about Binder’s reporting in the context of Yugoslavia is his decidedly dissident stance. While international opinion turned against the Serbs and Yugoslav federal government, Binder insisted that the Yugoslav wars were a series of civil wars based on the region’s complex history, ethnic identities and relations, and politics, rather than a war of “Serbian aggression.” Taking such a controversial stance, Binder was forced to turn from the New York Times to other publications such as The Nation, Foreign Policy, and Mediterranean Quarterly to publish his work. Despite the polarization of Binder’s view, his reporting remained remarkably objective throughout his career. Given the complexity of Yugoslavia’s demise, Binder’s reporting is an example of the importance of dissidence.




University of Puget Sound