Beyond Mosque, Church, and State: Alternative Narratives of the Nation in the Balkans

Beyond Mosque, Church, and State: Alternative Narratives of the Nation in the Balkans

Beyond Mosque, Church, and State: Alternative Narratives of the Nation in the Balkans

Beyond Mosque, Church, and State: Alternative Narratives of the Nation in the Balkans

Synopsis

"Ethnic diversity and national tensions in the Balkans have long attracted the attention of the international community of scholars and policy-makers who have tried to understand how states, societies and people in the area negotiate complex religious and ethno-national identities. By exploring the development of these issues in Bulgaria and Bosnia while also drawing parallels with Macedonia, this volume uses the three most diversely populated areas in the Balkans to engage complex questions. What institutions of state building are capable of managing diverse ethno-religious traditions and conflicting national identities? How do people on the ground respond to state-sponsored political projects at the local community level? In what ways do studies of cultural representations of ethno-national and religious conflicts call attention to inequality and human rights violations? How have studies of human rights problems in the Balkans contributed to changes in international law? More generally, what is the role of the humanities and social sciences in developing a discourse on the subject of conflict resolution and human rights? The volume engages the question of ethno-national conflicts and identities from three perspectives: historical interpretations of national conflict and ethno-religious tensions in the context of empire- and state-building; cultural debates as reflected in the use of language and dance, film, and media production and circulation as tools for nation-and community-building; and current political controversies over national resurgence and human rights both in the post-Yugoslav War context and in connection to European Union integration"--Provided by publisher.

Excerpt

The idea for this volume emerged from a conference held at the Ohio State University, “Beyond Mosque, Church, and State: Negotiating Religious and Ethno-National Identities in the Balkans,” 6–8 October 2011. the goal of the conference was to engage the issue of linguistic, religious, and ethno-national diversity in the Balkans from a variety of perspectives while questioning assumptions of Balkan expectionalism by challenging well-entrenched stereotypes about the area both in academia and in the general public space. the conference was generously funded through a Collaborative Research Grant from the Division of Arts & Humanities and a Faculty Grant from the Mershon Center for International Security Studies, Ohio State University. the organizers also wish to express their gratitude to the Slavic and East European Center, the Department for Slavic Languages and Cultures Paisii Fund, and the Department of History.

Considering the findings of the conference and further research, we narrowed down the topic of the volume to alternative notions of the nation in the Balkans, showcasing the existence of non-national and anti-national alternatives to state-centered ideas of the territorial nation in a variety of case studies. While focusing on areas that are usually considered “hotbeds” of national unrest due to their religious and ethno-national diversity, such as Bosnia, Macedonia, Albania, and Bulgaria, the contributors challenge the readers to engage in a new way of thinking about the region and Balkan studies in general. the volume . . .

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