We, the People: Politics of National Peculiarity in Southeastern Europe

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Mishkova Diana
Central European University Press, 2009 - History - 386 pages
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Analyzes the processes of nation-building in nineteenth and early-twentieth-century south-eastern Europe. A product of transnational comparative teamwork, this collection represents a coordinated interpretation based on ten varied academic cultures and traditions. The originality of the approach lies in a combination of three factors: [a] seeing nation-building as a process that is to a large extent driven by intellectuals and writers, rather than just a side effect of infrastructural modernization processes; [b] looking at the regional, cross-border ramifications of these processes (rather than in a rigid single-country-by-country perspective) and [c] looking at the autonomous role of intellectuals in these areas, rather than just seeing south-eastern Europe as an appendix to Europe-at-large, passively undergoing European influences. The essays explore the political instrumentalization of the concepts of folk, people and ethnos in south-eastern Europe in the “long 19th century” by mapping the discursive and institutional itineraries through which this set of notions became a focal point of cultural and political thought in various national contexts; a process that coincided with the emergence of political modernity. "In the history of emerging national awareness in Europe, the formerly Ottoman- and Habsburg-ruled regions in the continent’s South-East present a case of unusual complexity and interest. South-East Europe combines geopolitical regional cohesion and ethno-linguistic diversity, and witnessed the emergence of a complex cluster of both early and tardy nation-building movements in close proximity and overlap, antagonism and exchange. Hitherto largely underresearched (owing to political conditions and ingrained preconceptions), this south-eastern microcosm of Europe now takes its proper place in the panorama of European intellectual history thanks to this excellent volume. We, the People is a landmark book. It applies the latest theoretical insights and comparatist approaches to a wealth of relevant and fascinating case studies, which, besides their intrinsic importance, are now made available for comparative European and macro-regional historical research." Prof. dr J. Th. Leerssen, Chair of Modern European Literature, University of Amsterdam
 

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Contents

Towards a Framework for Studying the Politics of National
1
Alexander Vezenkov Reconciliation of the Spirits and Fusion of
47
Constructions of
79
The Paths of Macedonian
107
Visions of National Peculiar
139
Stefan Detchev Who are the Bulgarians? Race Science and Politics
237
Bojan Aleksov Jovan Jovanovic Zmaj and the Serbian Identity between
273
Artan Puto Faik Konitza the Modernizer of the Albanian Language
307
Contributing
341
Notes on the Contributors
373
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