This book analyzes top-down and bottom-up strategies of framing the nation and collective identities through commemorative practices relating to events from the Second World War and the 1990s "Homeland War" in Croatia. With attention to media representations of commemorative events and opinion poll data, it draws on interviews and participant observation at commemorative events to focus on the speeches of political elites, together with the speeches of opposition politicians and other social actors (such as the Catholic Church, anti-fascist organizations and war veterans’ and victims’ organizations) who challenge official narratives. Offering innovative approaches to researching and analyzing commemorative practices in post-conflict societies, this examination of a nation’s transition from a Yugoslav republic to an independent state – and now the newest member of the European Union – constitutes a unique case study for scholars of cultural memory and identity politics interested in the production and representation of national identities in official narratives.
Table of Contents
Framing the Nation: An Introduction to Commemorative Culture in Croatia
Vjeran Pavlaković and Davor Pauković
Part 1: Socio-Cultural, Philosophical and Linguistic Approaches to Croatia's Commemorative Culture
1. Sociocultural and Ideological Determinants of Memory Culture in Croatian Society
2. A Contemporary Philosophical Perspective on Cultural Memory in Croatia
3. An Ontological and Constructional Approach to the Discourse Analysis of the Commemorative Speeches in Croatia
Part 2: The Second World War Commemorations: Contested Sites of the Shared Past?
4. Framing the Narrative About Communist Crimes in Croatia: Bleiburg and Jazovka
5. Contested Sites and Fragmented Narratives: Jasenovac and Disruptions in Croatia’s Commemorative Culture
Part 3: The Homeland War Commemorations
6. Heroes at the Margins: Veterans, Elites and the Narrative of War
7. Ambassadors of Memory: "Honouring the Homeland War" in Croatian Sport
8. Remembering the Hague: The Impact of International Criminal Justice on Memory Practices in Croatia
9. Filling Voids with Memories: Commemorative Rituals and Memorial Landscape in Post-War Vukovar
Part 4: Transnational Dimensions of Memory
10. Homeland Celebrations Far Away from Home: The Case of the Croatian Diaspora in Argentina
11. European Commemoration of Vukovar: Shared Memory or Joint Remembrance?
Vjeran Pavlaković is Associate Professor in the Department of Cultural Studies at the University of Rijeka, Croatia. He received his PhD in history in 2005 from the University of Washington and has published articles on cultural memory, transitional justice in the former Yugoslavia and the Spanish Civil War. His recent publications include Yugoslav Volunteers in the Spanish Civil War (2016) and "Monumental Narratives: Memorials and Memory Politics of the Croatian Homeland War" in In Memoriam Republika Hrvatska (2017). He is also the lead researcher on the project Framing the Nation and Collective Identity in Croatia: Political Rituals and the Cultural Memory of Twentieth Century Traumas funded by the Croatian Science Foundation.
Davor Pauković is Associate Professor in the Department of Mass Communication at the University of Dubrovnik, Croatia. He received his PhD in contemporary history in 2010 from the University of Zagreb. He teaches courses in contemporary Croatian and world history. He has published five edited volumes and a dozen articles on political transition in Croatia, dealing with the past, dissolution of Yugoslavia, the Serb minority in Croatia and Serbo-Croatian relations. He is currently editor in chief of the international journal Contemporary Issues and a researcher on the project Framing the Nation and Collective Identity in Croatia: Political Rituals and the Cultural Memory of Twentieth Century Traumas funded by the Croatian Science Foundation. His recent publications include Croatia and the European Union: Changes and Development (2016).