Exploring the largely positive representations of Romanian Germans predominating in post-1989 Romanian society, this book shows that the underlying reasons for German prestige are strongly connected with Romania’s endeavors to become European.
The election, in 2014, of Klaus Iohannis as Romania’s president was hailed as evidence that the country chose a 'European’ future: that Iohannis belonged to Romania’s tiny German minority was also considered to have played a part in his success. Cercel argues that representations of Germans in Romania, descendants of twelfth-century and eighteenth-century colonists, become actually a symbolic resource for asserting but also questioning Romania’s European identity. Such representations link Romania’s much-desired European belonging with German presence, whilst German absence is interpreted as a sign of veering away from Europe. Investigating this case of discursive "self-colonization" and this apparent symbolic embrace of the German Other in Romania, the book offers a critical study of the discourses associated with Romania’s postcommunist "Europeanization" to contribute a better understanding of contemporary West-East relationships in the European context.
This fresh and insightful approach will interest postgraduates and scholars interested in Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe and in German minorities outside Germany. It should also appeal to scholars of memory studies and those interested in the study of otherness in general.
Chapter 1 - "Only Another German Can Jolt Us Out of Our Eternal Boycotting of History"
Chapter 2 - Europe: The West and the East, betwixt and between
Chapter 3 - Germans in Romania. A Brief Historical Background.
Chapter 4 - The Self and the Other
Chapter 5 - "…A Valuable and Unmistakable Contribution to the Life of Romanian Society"
Chapter 6 - "They Who Have No Germans, Should Buy Some"
Chapter 7 - 7. "The Rich Villages Around Sibiu and Brasov Have Been Invaded by the Gypsy Migration"
Chapter 8 - Conclusions
The Balkans are a region of Europe widely associated over the past decades with violence and war. Beyond this violence, the region has experienced rapid change in recent times though, including democratization, economic and social transformation. New scholarship is emerging which seeks to move away from the focus on violence alone to an understanding of the region in a broader context drawing on new empirical research.
The Southeast European Studies Series seeks to provide a forum for this new scholarship. Publishing cutting-edge, original research and contributing to a more profound understanding of Southeastern Europe while focusing on contemporary perspectives the series aims to explain the past and seeks to examine how it shapes the present. Focusing on original empirical research and innovative theoretical perspectives on the region the series includes original monographs and edited collections. It is interdisciplinary in scope, publishing high-level research in political science, history, anthropology, sociology, law and economics and accessible to readers interested in Southeast Europe and beyond.