Ideologies and National Identities: The Case of Twentieth-Century Southeastern Europe

Ideologies and National Identities: The Case of Twentieth-Century Southeastern Europe

Ideologies and National Identities: The Case of Twentieth-Century Southeastern Europe

Ideologies and National Identities: The Case of Twentieth-Century Southeastern Europe

Synopsis

"Twentieth-century Southeastern Europe endured three, separate decades of international and civil war, and was marred in forced migration and wrenching systematic changes. A cohort of young scholars with backgrounds in history, anthropology, political science, and comparative literature were brought together to examine and reappraise this tumultuous century. Guided by renowned editors, they drew on transnational approaches that extended beyond their own country's histories. The studies invite attention to fascism, socialism, and liberalism as well as nationalism and Communism, and focus on the remembrance of such conflicts in shaping today's ideology and national identity."

Excerpt

This volume is the end result of a year-long project of the Open Society Institute to examine the ideas and identities whose representation connects the twentieth-century history of Southeastern Europe to the European mainstream. We brought together a select group of younger scholars, primarily from the region, to proceed from an interdisciplinary perspective and to prepare the chapters that follow. Our reasons remain as compelling as they were when Institute Director István Rév, himself approached by some younger scholars, first approached me about the project in the first year of a new century. The previous century had scarred the region with three separate decades of international and civil war, forced migration and wrenching systemic change, the last convulsions spanning the 1990s. There had been a flood of recent publications, both scholarly and popular, but these concentrated on the most recent decade and on the former Yugoslavia. Alarge part of the scholarly publications, and almost all of the popular accounts, have further narrowed their focus to the suffering and injustice endured or inflicted by a particular ethnic group. This limitation applies to established historians from the region as much as to those from outside it. And we have seen Western social scientists, often approaching the region for the first time, read its history back from the end of the century to the beginning, rather than the reverse as historians are rightly wont to do.

We were therefore attracted to the possibility of bringing together a cohort of younger scholars primarily from the historical disciplines but also from the social sciences and comparative literature. All were asked to draw on transnational approaches and interdisciplinary perspectives while concentrating on a single country’s experience. This comparative approach has . . .

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