Nationalism and Political Imagination in the Balkans, 1840-1914
Cornell University Press 2015
New Books in Eastern European StudiesNew Books in European StudiesNew Books in HistoryNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in PoliticsNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books in World AffairsNew Books Network October 31, 2017 Amanda Jeanne Swain
It seemed that everyone wanted Bosnia in the late nineteenth century: Serbian and Croatian nationalists; Ottoman, Habsburg, Muslim and Yugoslav movements. At the same time, they all felt frustration with the Bosnian peasants for not living up to their nationalist and political imaginations. In Whose Bosnia? National and Political Imagination in the Balkans (Cornell University Press, 2015) Edin Hajdarpasic makes a number of arguments about how we understand nationalism and political movements in contested spaces. By exploring how these different movements defined Bosnia and Bosnians, crafted narratives of suffering and engaged youth, he argues that nationalism was a productive, open-ended force even in the face of seeming failures to achieve the nationalists’ goals. Hajdarpasic discusses these themes, as well as “nation-compulsion” which he defined as “a set of political and moral imperatives that one grapples with as part of becoming and maintaining oneself as a proper patriot.”
Edin Hajdarpasic is Associate Professor of History at Loyola University Chicago, where he teaches courses in Western Civilization; the modern Balkans; nineteenth-century Europe; and the Habsburg and Ottoman Empires.