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Strategies of Symbolic Nation-building in South Eastern Europe

By Pål Kolstø

© 2014 – Routledge

300 pages

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About the Book

After the conflagration of Tito’s Yugoslavia a medley of new and not-so-new states rose from the ashes. Some of the Yugoslav successor states have joined, or are about to enter, the European Union, while others are still struggling to define their national borders, symbols, and relationships with neighbouring states. Strategies of Symbolic Nation-building in South Eastern Europe expands upon the existing body of nationalism studies and explores how successful these nation-building strategies have been in the last two decades. Relying on new quantitative research results, the contributors offer interdisciplinary analyses of symbolic nation-building in Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia to show that whereas the citizens of some states have reached a consensus about the nation-building project other states remain fragmented and uncertain of when the process will end. A must-read not only for scholars of the region but policy makers and others interested in understanding the complex interplay of history, symbolic politics, and post-conflict transition.

Reviews

’The contributors to this timely collection of essays analyse brilliantly the complicated and conflicted on-going process of how multi-ethnic republics of an imploded federation search for symbols of their newly independent nation-states. While Montenegro, Serbia and Croatia can refer to traditional, yet partly contested symbols, Macedonia and Kosovo cannot.’ Stefan Troebst, University of Leipzig, Germany ’Much has been written on nationalism in Southeastern Europe, yet we know little about popular attitudes towards the envisioned results of nation-building. Strategies of Symbolic Nation-building fills this void. It is a timely book that provides fascinating empirical information and illuminating analyses. It makes a valuable contribution to the debate on why some nation-building efforts succeed, while others fail.’ Ulf Brunnbauer, Institute for East and Southeast European Studies, Regensburg, Germany ’Thanks to an intelligently and rigorously articulated conceptual and methodological framework, these collected essays make for a genuine comparative project. The volume succeeds in making a valuable contribution to the study of symbols, rituals and other tools of banal nationalism in the contemporary nation-building process of seven states of the Western Balkans.’ Maria Todorova, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA '… the quality of the research done and the well-designed methodology will certainly place this book high on reading lists, not only for scholars and students interested in studies of South Eastern Europe, but to also among a wider audience focusing on nation-building processes.' Contemporary Issues '… Strategies of Symbolic Nation-Building in South Eastern Europe is useful reading for anyone interested in the region and especially for scholars studying nation-building in the post-1991 context.' Studies of Transition States and Societies

About the Author

Pål Kolstø is Professor of Russian and East European Studies at the University of Oslo and has written extensively on nation-building and ethnic issues in Russia and Eastern Europe.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POL032000
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Essays
POL034000
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Peace