In the early 90s the Balkans was rocked by the collapse of communism and the violent break-up of Yugoslavia. But the last decade has seen a transformation of South-Eastern Europe into one of the most dynamic emerging markets in the world. This book explains how the political scene has moved from conflict to cooperation, and how the economic recovery has been driven by growing investment and trade opportunities. The book explains why Yugoslavia broke up so violently and how other Balkan countries (Bulgaria, Romania and Albania) also went through great upheavals in the 1990s. It shows how the region s prospects improved dramatically as wartime leaders in Croatia and Serbia left the scene. The role of the international community is examined critically and a contrast is drawn between the dithering and procrastination of European leaders in the 1990s and the more constructive soft power approach of the EU and other international institutions in the current decade. Also explained is how the region s economic prospects have been turned around in recent years, with strong growth between 2000 and 2008. The recent global economic crisis has adversely affected economic performance, but the downturn is likely to be temporary; the Balkan region is well placed to take advantage of a global recovery, whenever that takes place. The book argues that the Balkan countries have strong long-term growth potential, but that achieving this will require careful macroeconomic management, the continuation of political stability and EU integration, and further improvements to the business environment.