Conclusion: Competing claims to national identity

Alex J. Bellamy

in The Formation of Croatian National Identity

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print December 2003 | ISBN: 9780719065026
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781700440 | DOI:
Conclusion: Competing claims to national identity

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In a seminal work published in 1999, Misha Glenny attempted to plot the Balkan history of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Glenny interpreted Croatian national identity as the product of an aggressive nationalism informed by the political interests of social elites. The other prominent approach to Croatian national identity was unmodified primordialism. Here, instrumentalist arguments are inverted: nationalist movements are understood as reflecting national identity rather than vice-versa. Moreover, they use a broader understanding of the nation whereby most instances of group activity can provide evidence of the existence of a prior national or ethnic identity. The ‘great divide’ in nationalism studies is therefore reproduced in studies about Croatia. Attempts to understand Croatian national identity have tended to articulate both modernism and primordialism in their most polemic forms. This concluding chapter discusses competing claims to national identity, focusing on what Rogers Brubaker labelled ‘nationalising nationalism’ as well as Franjoism, re-traditionalisation and ruralisation, opposition to Franjoism, and overlapping and competing national identities.

Keywords: Croatia; national identity; primordialism; Misha Glenny; great divide; modernism; nationalising nationalism; Franjoism; re-traditionalisation; ruralisation

Chapter.  6369 words. 

Subjects: International Relations

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