1. Markko Lehti: Introduction –
Legacy of Balkanisation
First, I would like to thank you again for support. It was very important for me because, thanks to you, now I can take my all credits. Second, I hope that my diaries will be understandable. I will endeavour for write good presentations for the course “Nationalism in the Balkans”, although the diaries are using a little bit in the Romanian education system.
My first diary is about a lesson upon which I missed - “Legacy of Balkanisation”. Nevertheless, I have read some information from PowerPoint presentations uploaded on Alexanteri’s site. I think it is a very “hot” topic to speak about nationalism and Balkans in the same time because into this region the nationalism is a particular way of thinking. It is not a banal concept. I studied before about this and I can say that is not so difficult to see some differences between nationalism of Balkans and nationalism of West-Europe or Asian nationalism.
Into this lesson, the
teacher explained the concept of nationalism and the concept of Balkans and he
tried to show us the Ottoman influences. After some definitions, some
argumentations and quotations about nationalism, the professor said that in the
Balkans we can meet ethnic nationalism but with strong elements of civic
nationalism (especially in Serbs,
The teacher did not insist very much upon the “Balkans” concept and boarders because the next lesson will be about this topic. It is difficult because the Balkans is not just a geographical region. It is a sum of social, political, economic, traditional, cultural and religious elements.
It was very interesting for me to improve my knowledge about Ottoman legacy, (folklore, religion, culture, influences which Balkan’s countries.
The diary question was “Think about possibility for righteous and lasting peace that satisfy national dignity! I thought about this problem. It is clearly that each people have national values like moral, cultural, social, historical values, the national autonomy and the sovereignty, which put in evidence the national spirit and it offer the national dignity. It is very important to know these values. The problem is that some countries want to perform just personal values or interests, which are in conflict with the interests of other. We are not the peoples who decide about peace or war in Balkans.
They are the symbol of
country credit. More, I would like to say that national dignity is not the same
with nationality. Mihai Eminescu, a very popular poet in
2. Marko Lehti – Balkanising
I think that this lesson was amazing because I have seen many information
and many maps very suggestive for the evolution of Balkan region. I suppose
that, because I’m from
Ok, now let’s talk about who, what, and where are situated the Balkans?
It is important for me and for all the Balkan’s peoples. The first document
where is present this word, was in the 15th century a letter from the
Italian writer Filippo Buonacorssi Callimaco to Pope Innocentiu. He used the
“Balkan” term for the mountain Haemus. Later, in 16th century, the
German priest Solomon Sweiger, who lived 3 years in Istanbul, is the first
person who recalls the Occident with “Balkan” term (like a Turkish word naming
the mentioned mountain – balk=block …maybe my dictionary is not very good… and
the Turkish termination “-an”). In 1808,
the German geographer in his book “Goea” used for the first time the term “
But it is very difficult to delimit this region because it must to use
many criteria like historical, geographical, political, cultural, ethnical,
religious and economical criteria. Maybe geographical,
3. Katalin Miklossy – A Romanian Dilemma:
Eastern Balkans or
When I have heard that I
missed this lesson I was sad because for me is very important for me and
generally for Romanians to know the opinions about our country from outside. I
have read the slides and I have seen the topics about nationalism in
The first leading question for this diary is, “How is contemporary nationalism connected to the problems of transition? In the context of transition from communism to democracy is very important to evaluate the role of the nationalism because the nationalism proved many times non-liberal and anti-democratic. It was a very difficult way for all Romanians. No many peoples understood that when a new (occidental, liberal) life, is wanted it is necessary to change many things. The transition from the national communist (characterized by collective rights about race, culture or other commune characteristics) to liberalism (characterized by the human rights to choose) was a very difficult period. The state was not able to make the changes and the problems made the people to suffer. For this, especially the old peoples regretted the times of communism. Upon this background with many economical and political problems, appeared some nationalist extremist parties. At elections from 2000, it was an interesting situation because an extremist party (Partidul Romania Mare) took place in opposition and his leader, Vadim Tudor, was very close to be president. I do not want to think what would happen…
The second question is,
“In what sense is nationalism a historical phenomenon?
For this answer, I will use the Liah Greenfeld’s words. She says, “Nationalism
is a historical phenomenon. It appeared in one age and it can disappear in
another. But if it does, the world in which we will be
more, and another world, as distinct from one we know as was the society of
orders that it replaced, will replace it. This post-national world will be
truly post-modern, for nationality is the constitutive principle of modernity.
It will be a new form of social being and it will change the way we see
society; to understand it, we shall have to begin anew.” I would like to add
that, in the context of EU, the nationalism is more and more decreasing.
4. Tanja Tamminen: Western Balkans –
Priority Region of the EU Enlargement.
I was very happy to learn about the approaches
of the EU in the Balkans. I understood that the key of the most problems into
this region is the EU integration desire. EU can stop the ethnic war in
Balkans. Not by force like
It is very important to see the evolution of each Balkan country which adhered at or integrated in EU. I saw and I felt the Romanian’s effort for adhesion. It was very difficult for us to make so many changes into relatively short time, evidently, with EU important support. But nobody out of us could not to make this amazing evolution. The desire to be accepted, like one of the important European country, changed the face of this part of the world. Many states improved their economy, justice, foreign policy, etc. and this effort is colossal without external obligations. So, EU made by the programs of the integration much more than by war. Each non-integrated state wants himself to respect EU criteria to be later a respected state.
For this lesson we have two questions. First, I would like to answer at second question, “What does the Olli Rehn’s program of three C’s mean (consolidation, conditionality, communication)? I think it is the framework of the EU integration program a structure which offers security and trust in the relations between European countries. If this “Plan C” will be respected, the future enlargement of the EU will not be in peril.
Olli Rehn told about consolidation “We should consolidate the existing enlargement agenda, which is already stretched to its limits. We must be very cautious about taking on new commitments; but the EU was founded on the principle that ‘pacta sund servanda’, whereby sticking to one’s word is a basic value.” So, for the EU countries it is important to evaluate very well their power to support, to aid a new European country which wants to develop himself.
About consolidation, the Commissioner for Enlargement spoke about conditionality, “How can the candidates and potential candidates ensure fulfillment of the promise of eventually joining the EU? The only way is to meet the conditions for membership to the letter. To help meet them, the Commission has given every country a detailed list of tasks in its ‘Accession Partnership’ or ‘European Partnership’. This document identifies the key priorities which the country’s government must achieve in order to bring the country closer to the EU.” The conditionality is a natural step for integration. A new EU country don’t must generate political, economical, etc. problems or conflicts in the EU space. For this, each country must make all possible to perform the European conditions.
And finally, about communication, “Now we have to engage in a genuine dialogue with the citizens. The EU has to move from the technical to the communicative.” The dialogue with the peoples assures a real image, a real feed-back for EU representatives actions.
Now is easier to answer at
the first question “Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn keep on assuring that it
is not the case: the doors will stay open. What do you think?
I think that we can believe him. In 2005 he told that if
5. Minna Rasku – To Whom Belongs
I recognize that I don’t knew so many things
I would like to insist
upon the problem disputed in the class. I understood, and I hope I understood
About language, we can say that Macedonian
tongue is a Bulgarian dialect, but they are similar. A big part of Macedonian
population is Bulgarian. It is impossible to extract the Bulgarians from
On the other hand, the
6. Juhani Nuorloto –
At this course I
understood that in the case of
The professor told us about language that this is not like Serbian or Bosnian tongue, it is different. It has two alphabets: one official (Cyrillic) and one unofficial (Latin).
Garth Massey, Randy Hodson and Duško Sekulić analyzed ethnic nationalism present in the views of Croatians in the aftermath of the 1991–1995 war – a war during which ethnic-nationalist rhetoric played a large role. “Because the war was part of systemic change in the nation, including the adoption of more democratic and capitalist social formation, we anticipated economic and political liberalism to be present among a sizeable portion of the population. We provide an analysis of the structural conditions fostering these sentiments, an analysis potentially applicable to a range of societies presently in transition. The effect of religious fundamentalism, educational attainment and media exposure are as predicted, based on theories of nationalism. Wartime experiences and position in the occupational system have a weaker and more mixed influence than hypothesized. Perhaps most importantly, we find that three out of five Croatians embrace both ethnic-national views and views that are distinctly liberal, suggesting that liberal nationalism is now dominant in Croatia.” This analyze put in evidence that for Croatians, the good nationalism transformed in the nationhood. I think, here we can find the civic nationalism.
The teacher presented us many important Croatian things like elements from each subject that I have told earlier. I liked very much the Croatian anthem – “Our Beautiful Homeland” and his message. It is a lively proof for put in evidence the Croatian nationalism and the pride to be Croatian. After war, the people country tried to affirm their nationality and although they still have some problems, I think they are on the right way.
Just a little question
disturbs my mind. Why
7. Tanja Tamminen – Kosovo and Voivodina,
Futures of the Autonomies?
Kosovo is a province with very intricate history and present. It is a very “hot” county. In each moment it can bolt a conflict. I liked this lesson because I remembered many things about Kosovo’s history and about Kosovo’s ambitions. The nationalism in Kosovo, I think, is accentuated more than others Balkan’s countries and even than European’s countries. It has peoples who don’t want to make concessions.
Form this multiethnic and multi-religious society in each moment we can wait something to explode. But for me is easy to talk about Kosovo’s nationalism, about ethnic problems, religions, independence and autonomy. I wasn’t there to fill like a people from Kosovo. I don’t know if I may put photos, but I would like to show an image very expressive which shares us a little part from suffering of those citizens. Here is missing the comunication.
Now, I would like respond at second question, “The role and the
situation of minorities in
The second question - “What
Dimension to the European Agenda
This was one of the
lessons which made me very happy to see many elements of the
But let’s talk about
The first leading question
is “What will be the major challenges of
The second question is “How
can EU profit from its new access to the
9. Jouni Järvinen: Serbs – Blackened Nation?
Another important leader
Lather, Slobodan Milosevic was the president of
The issue of human rights in
Vesna Pesic said, “This
analysis of nationalism’s role in
10. Rada Boric: Is Nationalism Balkan Destiny?
I assisted at the least course. It was amazing,
great, and excellent! The professor, who speak a bad but very cultivate
English, explained us very well about Balkan crisis. It was a synthesis about
all Balkan nationalist elements and especially about
The nationalism is not generated by people but by elites. Geopolitical changes are a reaction by elite mobilization of masses to nationalism. The problem is that the nationalism would must including, not excluding. The most of conflicts have a virtual support. The nationalist policy is based especially upon speeches, education, doctrines, propagandas and media.
We can define the nationalism by 2 terms: 1. culturological – “Rational soul” something which is deeply rooted in the motivational structure of the group studied; 2. geopolitical – when the nationalism derives from geopolitical changes and it is the result of these changes.
The integral nationalism or ethnic nationalism is an ideology which all the activities in some societies are submitted to the nation. What does is national destiny? It is the result of geopolitical situation (like mishap to born and to live in a wrong place?). The Balkan region was 500 years under ottoman influence. After this, the communism knew a good development. It is easy to imagine the mix between ottoman elements and communist elements…
Is Nationalism Balkan Destiny? No, it is not! All
nations want somebody to compare. It is normal because everybody wants to live
Very interesting is the comparing between the EU and the Balkans. Rada Boric said “it is like an elephant into the glass store”. It is very difficult to understand, to decide and to action into a region where any subject can generate a conflict.
Thank you so much!
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