Conclusions: confronting relativism in Serbia and Croatia

David Bruce Macdonald

in Balkan Holocausts?

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print February 2003 | ISBN: 9780719064661
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781700198 | DOI:
Conclusions: confronting relativism in Serbia and Croatia

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A teleological understanding of history proved to be of central importance for both Serbian and Croatian nationalist writers during the 1990s. Myths of Covenant, Fall, and Redemption were of particular importance, as was the general theme of good against evil. Serbs and Croats were particularly susceptible to these types of myths because of religion. In trying to analyse the successes and failures of Serbian and Croatian propaganda, we need to understand clearly whether or not any actual genocides took place in the Balkans, either in history, or during the more contemporary period. The comparative genocide debate in Serbia and Croatia was very much akin to the tragedy of the commons — as soon as the Serbs invoked it, Croats, Kosovar Albanians, and Bosnian Moslems all joined in, and picked this stock of metaphors and symbols clean. Was there ever genocide in Serbia or Croatia? Does the comparative genocide debate work as far as the West is concerned? This chapter discusses religious nationalism and ‘ethnic’ nations.

Keywords: religion; religious nationalism; propoganda; ethnic nations; genocide; Fall; myths; Serbia; Croatia; Bosnian Moslems

Chapter.  9021 words. 

Subjects: International Relations

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