While histories of ethnic conflicts and nationalism focus mainly on adult actors, this study seeks to shed light on the importance of children and their centrality to post-socialist nation-building through popular culture. Looking at what in Croatia is known as the War of Independence (or Homeland War), the project focuses on a particular, so far almost completely unexplored, aspect of Croatian nation-building: the role of children in the production, dissemination, and impact of Croatian patriotic music. During the war in Croatia, musicians of all genres joined the effort of “defending the homeland through music,” and their songs and videos were incessantly broadcasted on national television and radio stations.
The build-up of nationalism in Yugoslavia and its successor states was accompanied by a seismic shift in public discourse, as the national political elites mobilised the rhetoric of Othering in order to distinguish their respective nations from ‘the Balkans’, to construct and reinforce a new national identity, and to endorse European integration. This paper investigates how the discourses of Balkanism and Othering functioned in international relations by examining how the Balkans were represented in the foreign policy articulations of Croatia, Macedonia and Bosnia and Herzegovina during and after the Yugoslav conflicts. By analysing speeches delivered at the UN General Assembly between 1993 and 2003, this paper investigates how Southeast European states constructed their identities on the international stage and capitalised on “Balkan” identity for foreign policy objectives.
Montenegro’s recent political history has been extremely turbulent. Within less than a century, this country lost and regained internationally recognized state independence. Moreover, it was a part of three rather different “Yugoslav” state projects. At the same time, albeit without significant demographic shifts, the declared ethnic/national composition of the Montenegrin population changed radically. The focus of this paper is on the interaction between Montenegro’s dynamic political development and the constant reconfiguration of its ethnic/national structure. It concludes that the varying outcomes of the population censuses in Montenegro have actually mirrored political changes which the country has undergone throughout the observed period.