Introduction
in The formation of Croatian national identity

As the Republic of Croatia enters its second decade as an independent state, with a new president and a new government for the first time, this book asks whether sentiments of Croatian national identity have changed and, if so, how and why. It proposes a multi-layered approach to studying contemporary Croatian national identity. To understand the formation of Croatian national identity in the 1990s, it is necessary to locate the discussion within wider concerns about the nature and origins of nationalism and national identity. National identity derives its power from being embedded in individual subjectivity. Thus, the narratives of national identity articulated by political and intellectual elites are manifested and constantly reinterpreted in social practice. The book insists that at the most abstract level Croatian national identity is constituted by the narrative of historical statehood. It also considers six areas of social practice in order to provide a series of snapshots showing the way that competing conceptions of national identity were embedded in areas as diverse as regionalism, religion, and sport.

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