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A centuries-old dream?
Author: Alex J. Bellamy

This book assesses the formation of Croatian national identity in the 1990s. It develops a novel framework, calling into question both primordial and modernist approaches to nationalism and national identity, before applying that framework to Croatia. In doing so, the book provides a new way of thinking about how national identity is formed and why it is so important. An explanation is given of how Croatian national identity was formed in the abstract, via a historical narrative that traces centuries of yearning for a national state. The book shows how the government, opposition parties, dissident intellectuals and diaspora groups offered alternative accounts of this narrative in order to legitimise contemporary political programmes based on different versions of national identity. It then looks at how these debates were manifested in social activities as diverse as football, religion, economics and language. This book attempts to make an important contribution to both the way we study nationalism and national identity, and our understanding of post-Yugoslav politics and society.

Alex J. Bellamy

-inhabited regions such as the Adriatic islands.181 It should be noted, however, that despite their staunch nationalism, members of the diaspora were generally reluctant to return to Croatia. MUP_Bellamy_05_Ch4 92 9/3/03, 9:28 C   93 Of the various diaspora groups, by far the most prominent were the Hercegovinian Croats. Their role in launching a campaign to carve out a Croatian territory called Herceg-Bosna in Bosnia and Hercegovina has been well documented, as was the Tuœman government’s support for the plan.182 According to Tuœman, Hercegovina was one

in The formation of Croatian national identity
Economy, football and Istria
Alex J. Bellamy

was widely seen as representing not only Croatian national identity in the Yugoslav leagues, but also Zagreb’s particular identity within MUP_Bellamy_06_Ch5 117 9/3/03, 9:31 T   C   118 Croatia and Yugoslavia. Dinamo Zagreb also acted as a focal point of interest for the recently departed members of the Croatian diaspora. Diaspora groups formed clubs called Dinamo and referred to themselves as Bad Blue Boys.87 The infamous match against Crvena Zvezda came soon after the 1990 elections. On 13 May 1990 about 1,500 Crvena

in The formation of Croatian national identity