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Today In History

 

Statehood Day is a holiday that takes place on June 25th in Slovenia & Croatia to commemorate both countries’ declaration of independence from Yugoslavia in 1991.

On related subjects from Berghahn Central & Eastern Europe List:

 

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STRANGERS EITHER WAY
The Lives of Croatian Refugees in their New Home
Jasna Čapo Žmegač
Translated by Nina H. Antoljak and Mateusz M. Stanojević

 

Croatia gained the world’s attention during the break-up of Yugoslavia in the early 1990s. In this context its image has been overshadowed by visions of ethnic conflict and cleansing, war crimes, virulent nationalism, and occasionally even emergent regionalism. Instead of the norm, this book offers a diverse insight into Croatia in the 1990s by dealing with one of the consequences of the war: the more or less forcible migration of Croats from Serbia and their settlement in Croatia, their “ethnic homeland.” This important study shows that at a time in which Croatia was perceived as a homogenized nation-in-the-making, there were tensions and ruptures within Croatian society caused by newly arrived refugees and displaced persons from Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Refugees who, in spite of their common ethnicity with the homeland population, were treated as foreigners; indeed, as unwanted aliens.

 

 

STATE COLLAPSE AND RECONSTRUCTION IN THE PERIPHERY
Political Economy, Ethnicity and Development in Yugoslavia, Serbia and Kosovo
Jens Stilhoff Sörensen

 

In the 1990s, Yugoslavia, which had once been a role model for development, became a symbol for state collapse, external intervention and post-war reconstruction. Today the region has two international protectorates, contested states and borders, severe ethnic polarization and minority concerns. In this first in-depth critical analysis of international administration, aid and reconstruction policies in Kosovo, Jens Stilhoff Sörensen argues that the region must be analyzed as a whole, and that the process of state collapse and recent changes in aid policy must be interpreted in connection to the wider transformation of the global political economy and world order. He examines the shifting inter- and intracommunity relations, the emergence of a “political economy” of conflict, and of informal clientelist arrangements in Serbia and Kosovo and provides a framework for interpreting the collapse of the Yugoslav state, the emergence of ethnic conflict and shadow economies, and the character of western aid and intervention. Western governments and agencies have built policies on conceptions and assumptions for which there is no genuine historical or contemporary economic, social or political basis in the region. As the author persuasively argues, this discrepancy has exacerbated and cemented problems in the region and provided further complications that are likely to remain for years to come.

 

IN CONTRAST
Croatian Film Today
Edited by Aida Vidan and Gordana P. Crnković
Published by the Croatian Film Association in association with Berghahn Books

 

The Croatian film scene has remained largely inaccessible until now. In this first comprehensive volume on the subject recognized scholars explore not only its recent history, since the establishment of the Croatian state, but also revisit its development during the Yugoslav period. By introducing readers to the complex political and artistic circumstances, the authors approach animation, documentary, and feature films, through questions of style and vision, social engagement, industry, national identity, gender, audience, and domestic and international reception. In depth interviews with some of the most prominent Croatian film directors provide insights into their artistic practices while also serving as first-hand testimonials to both socialist and transitional cultural environments. Encompassing a rich selection of films with a broad palette of themes and styles, the review section provides an indispensible guide through a little known world.

 

 

 

POST-COMMUNIST NOSTALGIA
Edited by Maria Todorova and Zsuzsa Gille

 

Although the end of the Cold War was greeted with great enthusiasm by people in the East and the West, the ensuing social and especially economic changes did not always result in the hoped-for improvements in people’s lives. This led to widespread disillusionment that can be observed today all across Eastern Europe. Not simply a longing for security, stability, and prosperity, this nostalgia is also a sense of loss regarding a specific form of sociability. Even some of those who opposed communism express a desire to invest their new lives with renewed meaning and dignity. Among the younger generation, it surfaces as a tentative yet growing curiosity about the recent past. In this volume scholars from multiple disciplines explore the various fascinating aspects of this nostalgic turn by analyzing the impact of generational clusters, the rural-urban divide, gender differences, and political orientation. They argue persuasively that this nostalgia should not be seen as a wish to restore the past, as it has otherwise been understood, but instead it should be recognized as part of a more complex healing process and an attempt to come to terms both with the communist era as well as the new inequalities of the post-communist era.