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Ethnicity and migration, two central topics for studies of the Yugoslav region, have been and are intimately linked to race. Just as ethnicity has been more central than race in south-east European studies, certain migrations have been more central than others, which tell the history of majoritarian ethnicity but are integral to understanding the place of 'race'. Indeed, even the ethnopolitical violence responsible for forced migrations within and away from the region has often involved translating ethnicity and nationhood through 'race' to more effectively dehumanise the subjects of violence and harden the symbolic boundaries of ethnic difference to their extreme. The Great War is a part of the history of race and the Yugoslav region as the theme on which the explicit discussions of race in the region have turned. The racialisation of ethnonational and religious boundaries facilitated genocidal expressions of Serb and Croat ethnonationalism during the Second World War.

in Race and the Yugoslav region
Open Access (free)
What does race have to do with the Yugoslav region?

Like south-east Europe and Europe's ex-state socialist societies in general, the Yugoslav region has legacies of nation formation, forced migration and genocide that invite seeing its past and present through the lens of ethnopolitical and religious conflict. Scholars of eastern European countries and the USSR, not just the Yugoslav region, face the obstacle of reconciling the predominance of ethnicity and the invisibility of race. Scholars in Black European Studies at locations including Germany, the Nordic countries and the Netherlands have had to confront exceptionalism in order for the mainstreams of their own area studies to hear them. Much scholarship on race, postcoloniality and whiteness on European peripheries is indebted to academics and activists in German Studies, including Afro-German women who started theorising their 'double oppressions' in white German society in collaboration with Audre Lorde.

in Race and the Yugoslav region

Evidence from popular music shows that the Yugoslav region just like other European countries does possess a 'deep reservoir' of notions of modernity, morality, hierarchy and entitlement through which popular culture and everyday discourse mobilise meaning. Wekker's search for the affective legacies of racialised colonial imagination in the 'cultural archive' reinforces Anikó Imre's argument that scholars of European media ought to apply the lens of east European postcoloniality to everyday popular culture as well as highbrow literature and cinema. The most unambiguous examples of colonial racialised imaginaries in post-Yugoslav entertainment, even more so than Cro-dance's tribalism and primitivism, were occasional blackface performances on music television. Popular music stands alongside transnational sport and film as a major vector for an embodied transnational cultural politics of race, where what producers and audiences perceive through transnational media is adapted or vernacularised through their own perceptions of race and identity.

in Race and the Yugoslav region

Race, as well as ethnicity, is an essential category for understanding the micropolitics of postsocialism, and for situating the Yugoslav wars more widely in late-twentieth-century European history. Post-9/11 Islamophobia compounded late-twentieth-century Western cultural racisms that already stigmatised Islam as incompatible with liberal democracy, along lines inflected by specific national histories and experiences but with common assumptions that Islam was incompatible with a secular Europe or West. The forms of anti-Muslim racism combined the xenophobic opposition to extra-European migration of late-twentieth/early-twenty-first-century European cultural racism with the War on Terror's racialised Islamophobia. The idea of 'postnational' defence in twenty-first-century European security viewed national interests and defence as 'multinational', 'achieved in solidarity with others well beyond the borders'. The politics of racism and peacekeeping in the Yugoslav wars exemplified how post-Yugoslav racisms mediated the geopolitical reversal that many ex-Yugoslavs felt they had undergone.

in Race and the Yugoslav region
Postsocialist, post-conflict, postcolonial?

This book explains theoretical work in postcolonial and postsocialist studies to offer a novel and distinctive insight into how Yugoslavia is configured by, and through, race. It presents the history of how ideas of racialised difference have been translated globally in Yugoslavia. The book provides a discussion on the critical race scholarship, global historical sociologies of 'race in translation' and south-east European cultural critique to show that the Yugoslav region is deeply embedded in global formations of race. It considers the geopolitical imagination of popular culture; the history of ethnicity; and transnational formations of race before and during state socialism, including the Non-Aligned Movement. The book also considers the post-Yugoslav discourses of security, migration, terrorism and international intervention, including the War on Terror and the refugee crisis. It elaborates how often-neglected aspects of the history of nationhood and migration reveal connections that tie the region into the global history of race. The book also explains the linkage between ethnic exclusivism and territory in the ethnopolitical logic of the Bosnian conflict and in the internationally mediated peace agreements that enshrined it: 'apartheid cartography'. Race and whiteness remained perceptible in post-war Bosnian identity discourses as new, open-ended forms of post-conflict international intervention developed.

In domains from the history of popular entertainment to that of ethnicity and migration, ideas of race, as well as ethnicity and religion, have demonstrably formed part of how people from the Yugoslav region have understood their place in Europe and the world. Even within the expanding history of state socialism and race, the impact of the 1990s wars on memory and identity set the Yugoslav region apart; yet the geopolitics of Non-Alignment had already distinguished Yugoslavia during the Cold War. Miglena Todorova on twentieth-century Bulgaria anticipated much of the transnational turn in Cold War history by centring race as part of identity under state socialism. Habsburg cultural history has addressed race and anti-blackness in consumer and leisure culture, far less across the wider empire outside metropolitan, majority- German-speaking Vienna.

in Race and the Yugoslav region
From Kant to Nietzsche

In 1796 a German politico-philosophical manifesto proclaims the 'highest act of reason' as an 'aesthetic act'. The ways in which this transformation relates to the development of some of the major directions in modern philosophy is the focus of this book. The book focuses on the main accounts of the human subject and on the conceptions of art and language which emerge within the Kantian and post-Kantian history of aesthetics. Immanuel Kant's main work on aesthetics, the 'third Critique', the Critique of Judgement, forms part of his response to unresolved questions which emerge from his Critique of Pure Reason and Critique of Practical Reason. The early Romantics, who, after all, themselves established the term, can be characterized in a way which distinguishes them from later German Romanticism. The 'Oldest System Programme of German Idealism', is a manifesto for a new philosophy and exemplifies the spirit of early Idealism, not least with regard to mythology. The crucial question posed by the Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling of the System of Transcendental Idealism (STI) is how art relates to philosophy, a question which has recently reappeared in post-structuralism and in aspects of pragmatism. Despite his undoubted insights, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel's insufficiency in relation to music is part of his more general problem with adequately theorising self-consciousness, and thus with his aesthetic theory. Friedrich Schleiermacher argues in the hermeneutics that interpretation of the meaning of Kunst is itself also an 'art'. The book concludes with a discussion on music, language, and Romantic thought.

Rousseau as a constitutionalist

Often presented as a proto-totalitarian, Rousseau has traditionally been seen as an opponent of constitutionalism, checks and balances, and the separation of powers. Following a brief overview of the history of constitutionalism (from Moses to the French Revolution), this chapter compares Rousseau's political writings with the writings of constitutionalists like James Madison and Baron de Montesquieu. It shows that Rousseau shared the view that checks and balances are necessary for preventing the corruption of power and that he advocated a system of the separation of powers (and spoke highly of the British constitution. Yet, contrary to the other constitutionalists, Rousseau was a democrat. Whereas Montesquieu and Madison wanted the elites to check the elites (through the introduction of second chambers and constitutional courts), Rousseau emphasised that the executive ought to be checked by the people. He thus anticipated the political system that was instated by the American populists (including Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson). However, unlike other constitutionalists, Rousseau did not believe that institutions themselves would be sufficient for creating a good polity. He ceaselessly emphasised that political education was necessary for creating a good society.

in The political philosophy of Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Rousseau’s and nationalism

Previously unrecognised by scholars of nationalism, Rousseau was, in fact, the founder of the modern doctrine of nationalism. This chapter shows how Rousseau succeeded in developing a case for social cohesion and the necessity of having a common culture in a society. In developing a case for nationalism as a ‘civic profession of faith’ he continued—and redeveloped—a doctrine begun by Machiavelli, which was later to be further elaborated by Alexis de Tocqueville and present-day theorists and practitioners of social capital, like the political scientist Robert Putnam and the English politician David Blunkett. It is argued that Rousseau accomplished the feat of developing a new doctrine of civic religion (i.e., nationalism) and that he succeeded in combining a defence for this doctrine with a new place for Christianity (which was consistent with the original apolitical teachings of Christ). The chapter also presents an account of Rousseau's thinking on international politics, including something as timely as an account of his opposition against the establishment of a European superstate.

in The political philosophy of Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Open Access (free)

The reductionist assumptions that lead to the idea of folk psychology themselves involve serious methodological problems which are shown up by arguments from the aesthetic tradition. The ideas about the role and nature of self-consciousness from Immanuel Kant to the Romantics suggest that attempts to explicate subjectivity in the terms used to explain objective nature will themselves fall prey to the problems of reflection. Theodor W. Adorno is an apt figure to invoke in the context because, in the wake of Friedrich Nietzsche, he thinks, as does Martin Heidegger, that the ills of modernity are rooted in the attempt by the subject to dominate the world of objects. Richard Rorty characterises the development of modernity in terms of how the 'public', problem solving resources of natural science and 'projects of social cooperation' become separate from 'private' projects of self-development, in which he includes 'romantic art' and, possibly, religion.

in Aesthetics and subjectivity