Nation-building after the Great War normalized migration, colonization, and population transfers and exchanges in southeastern Europe, as demographic scale came to define the status of nations and the extent of their borders. A century on, policies based on the same logic of homogenization continue, despite this painful history.
Interfaith marriage is often talked about in the context of the socialist former Yugoslavia, but people in the region have been crossing religious lines for love, sex or some combination thereof for a long time. Ana Sekulić explores her relationship to religion by studying her own family’s past.
Namik Kemal came to be celebrated as one of the most prominent Ottoman poets, playwrights and political thinkers. While “The Fatherland” and other writings largely disappeared from public view during Sultan Abdulhamid II’s 33-year reign, they enjoyed significant popularity in Bulgaria’s Muslim community.
While memories of Albanian and Turkish hospitality to Bosniak refugees in Macedonia in 1992 live on locally, few outside the region know the remarkable story of one community’s sacrifice, driven by a special and singularly deep commitment to the protection of others.
The chief international institution in Bosnia and Herzegovina has intervened with changes to the country’s elections laws to further cement the ability of the nationalist oligarchy, those most responsible for the country’s catastrophic socioeconomic conditions, to rule and plunder.
Balkanist thinking encourages Western policymakers to view conflicts in eastern and southeastern Europe in terms of “warring tribes,” “rival nationalisms” or “ancient ethnic hatreds” that need to be managed, balanced and neutralized. By projecting such negative stereotypes onto these lands and their peoples, it encourages the very conflicts Western policymakers are supposed to be resolving.
For decades, the West has pioneered “stabilocracy” in the Balkans, a pernicious brand of diplomacy that prefers agreement to reform. That diplomacy was exported to their relations with Kremlin — with the extreme, bloody conclusion being the war in Ukraine.