Written by a closely knit team of well known specialists on Balkan affairs, this timely book provides expert insights into the geopolitical make-up of a region tragically afflicted by war. The broad canvas covered by the book highlights recent changes in the north and western Balkans since the demise of the former communist Yugoslav regime. The ethnic mix of this previous state contains nearly twenty different groups, among whom conflicting ambitions have produced an explosive cocktail. The geographical concepts of international/national boundary changes involved here engage the reader in a deeper appreciation of history's role in leading up to this transformation. Political heritage, historical aspects and current geographical reality are bound together to give insights into this complex and sometimes confusing picture. Indeed, to "balkanize" has entered the English language as a synonym for the forcible partition of an area into small antagonistic states. The clear and penetrating analysis offered by the contributions is supported by maps, figures and tables which help the reader to follow the complex arguments and debates, and relate them to contemporary events."The changing shape of the Balkans" provides an essential source of reference and analysis for those wishing to familiarize themselves further with this complex and turbulent part of Europe.