Race and the Yugoslav region

Postsocialist, post-conflict, postcolonial?

Author: Catherine Baker

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.


‘Catherine Baker bravely focuses on what many scholars working on Yugoslavia, post-Yugoslav nations, and/or the Balkans have avoided or not been able to grapple with: race.
Sociology of Race and Ethnicity
December 2019

‘The book is a poignant study of race and references an extensive and rich amount of literature. It fills an important gap in scholarship on Yugoslavia and Southeast Europe which often lacks a critical analysis of race. I believe it is a necessary read for those interested in Southeast and East European Studies, as well as postsocialism studies. Those interested in critical race theory, postcolonial studies, cultural studies, history, and anthropology will obtain a great deal from the text.
The Anthropology of East Europe Review
December 2019

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