Changing Youth Values in Southeast Europe : Beyond Ethnicity book cover
1st Edition

Changing Youth Values in Southeast Europe
Beyond Ethnicity

ISBN 9781032178981
Published September 30, 2021 by Routledge
256 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

What shapes the cultural, political and ideological values of young people living in Southeastern Europe? Which identities matter to them? How are their values changing, and how can they be changed? Who is changing them? Europe’s periphery is the testing ground for the success of European values and identities. The future stability and political coherence of the Union will be determined in large measure by identity issues in this region.

This book examines the ways in which ethnic and national values and identities have been surpassed as the overriding focus in the lives of the region’s youth. Employing bottom-up, ethnographic, and interview-based approaches, it explores when and where ethnic and national identification processes become salient. Using intra-national and international comparisons of youth populations of Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Vojvodina, contributors uncover the mechanisms by which ethnic identities are evoked, reproduced and challenged. In addition to exploring political, regional cultural generational and class identities, the contributors examine wider questions of European unity.

This volume offers a corrective to previous thinking about youth ethnic identities and will prove useful to scholars in political science and sociology studying issues of ethnic and national identities and nationalism, as well as youth cultures and identities.

Table of Contents


Danilo Mandic and Tamara P. Trošt

Part I. New Ethnic Mosaics: Cleavages within Ethnic Groups

Chapter 1. Negotiating Identities in Post-Conflict Bosnia and Herzegovina: Self, Ethnicity and Nationhood in Adolescents Born of Wartime Rape

Tatjana Takševa

Chapter 2. Dual Citizenship and Youth Identity in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Nicholas R. Micinski and Jasmin Hasic

Chapter 3. Complexity of Inner Belonging: Notions of Belonging and Alienation among Adolescents with a Migrant Background in Croatia

Lana Peternel

Chapter 4. Constructing and Destructing the Ethnic: Discourses of Ethnicity among Hungarian Youth in Vojvodina

Krisztina Rácz

Part II. Political Participation and Youth Identities

Chapter 5. Youth Politicization and De-politicization in Contemporary Albania

Islam Jusufi and Jubjana Vila Zeka

Chapter 6. From Foreign Mercenaries to Civic Activists: A Comparison of Youth Identity in Post Conflict Bosnia and Herzegovina and Macedonia

Ana Alibegova

Chapter 7. Forging Civic Bonds "from below": Montenegrin Activist Youth between Ethno-National Disidentification and Political Subjectivation

Bojan Baca

Part III. Transcending Ethnic Identities: Comparative Perspectives

Chapter 8. Taming Conflicted Identities: Searching for New Youth Values in the Western Balkans

Vladimir Turjacanin, Iris Žeželj, Edona Maloku, Marija Brankovic

Chapter 9. Beyond Ethnic Identity: History, Pride, and Nationhood across Socioeconomic Lines in Serbian and Croatian Youth

Tamara P. Trošt

Chapter 10. Out with the Old: Youth Solidarity and Nationalism among Young Kosovars and Serbs

Danilo Mandic


Danilo Mandic


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Tamara P. Trošt is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the Faculty of Economics, University of Ljubljana in Slovenia. She received her Ph.D. in Sociology from Harvard University in 2012, with a dissertation examining the interplay between history and ethnic identity among Croatian and Serbian youth. Her article ‘Ruptures and continuities in ethno-national discourse: Reconstructing the nation through history textbooks in Serbia and Croatia’ won the 2017 Nations and Nationalism Dominique Jacquin-Berdal prize. She has published on issues of everyday identity, populism, history textbooks, collective memory, and sports and nationalism.

Danilo Mandic is a College Fellow at Harvard University’s Sociology Department, where he teaches political sociology, comparative approaches to war and organized crime, and refugees and foreign policy. He received his BA from Princeton University and his PhD from Harvard University. For his dissertation, he conducted extensive fieldwork in Kosovo/Serbia and South Ossetia/Georgia. He is developing a book manuscript on the role of organized crime in separatist movements after the Cold War, and has led a research team to investigate the Syrian refugee crisis on the Balkan Route.


"This insightful and wide ranging book offers an original take on understanding youth subjectivities in Southeast Europe . In contrast to the dominant paradigms that insist on the pervasiveness of ethno- nationalist identifications in the region this book demonstrates the full complexity of youth perceptions and behaviours in this part of the world. This is an excellent contribution based on the comprehensive primary research." - Professor Siniša Maleševic University College, Dublin, Ireland

"As liberal democracy is being increasingly challenged by radical politics, sustained scholarly attention to ethnicity and nationalism is gaining renewed urgency. This excellent and timely volume tackles this crucial topic head-on, exploring both the complexities and limitations of an ethnocentric analytical lens. The collection challenges conventional wisdom regarding a particularly relevant demographic group: young people who will shape national politics in the coming decades and whose commitment to nationalist principles has come under increased empirical scrutiny. This is essential reading for anyone interested in the legacy of ethnic conflict in the Balkans and its implications for the future of the European project." - Bart Bonikowski, Professor of Sociology, Center for European Studies, Harvard University

"Few academic books are as important and surprising as this one on the ethnic identities and values of youth in seven Balkan countries. The cutting-edge qualitative research presented here shows that ethnicity and nationalism often take a back seat to identities rooted in economic, social, global and class positions. Theoretically innovative and empirically rigorous, the work presented here moves forward our scholarly understanding of ethnicity and casts a much needed spotlight on social change among youth in Europe’s periphery. This should be required reading for all students of ethnicity, nationalism and social change." - Mary C. Waters, Harvard University