This collection of essays places the Balkans at the center of European developments, not as a conflict-ridden problem zone, but rather as a full-fledged European region. Contrary to the commonly held perception, contributors to the volume argue, the Balkans did not lag behind the rest of European history, but rather anticipated many (West) European developments in the decades before and after 1900. In the second half of the nineteenth century, the Balkan states became fully independent nation-states. As they worked to consolidate their sovereignty, these countries looked beyond traditional state formation strategies to alternative visions rooted in militarism or national political economy, and not only succeeded on their own terms but changed Europe and the world beginning in 1912-14. As the Ottoman Empire weakened and ever more kinds of informal diplomacy were practiced on its territory by more powerful states, relationships between identity and geopolitics were also transformed. The result, as the contributors demonstrate, was a phenomenon that would come to pervade the whole of Europe by the 1920s and 1930s: the creeping substitution of ideas of religion and ethnicity for the idea of state belonging or subjecthood. CONTRIBUTORS: Ulf Brunnbauer, Holly Case, Dessislava Lilova, John Paul Newman, Roumiana Preshlenova, Dominique Kirchner Reill, Timothy Snyder Timothy Snyder is Richard C. Levin Professor of History at Yale University. Katherine Younger is a research associate at the Institute for Human Sciences (IWM) in Vienna, Austria.
Publisher: Boydell & Brewer Ltd
Number of pages: 190
Dimensions: 229 x 152 mm
Innovative, well written for a broad audience, and timely, The Balkans as Europe, 1821-1914 offers fresh insight about the region, in ways that demand attention from specialists in other areas. The contributors advance a coherent set of interpretations--all pointing to the modernity and relevance of Balkan models for other parts of Europe and the world. This is cutting-edge work. --Jeremy King, Mount Holyoke College The Balkans as Europe, 1821-1914 is a timely, superbly documented, and truly persuasive contribution to the symbolic geography of Europe. It challenges and transcends the semantically dubious and politically supercilious characterization of the Balkans as a marginal, underdeveloped backwater, fiercely nationalist and devoid of civil society. The volume is a strong and necessary refutation of frozen (and condescending) conceptualizations which contrast the Habsburg legacies (often idealized) with the inescapable "Balkan ghosts."--Vladimir Tismaneanu, University of Maryland
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