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5 Mourning the Lost Modernity: Industrial Labor, Europe, and (post)Yugoslav Post-socialism

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Chapter Summary

In contemporary European political discourses, and particularly in discourses related to the accession of the "Western Balkan" countries to the EU, Europe as a notion is intrinsically connected with the future. This chapter deals with another type of nostalgic recollection of the past in which people in the ("Western") Balkans, more precisely in the Yugoslav successor states, see Europe rather than in the future. In European political and public discourses, socialism is seen as an essentially non-European historical legacy. Political and national elites in the post-socialist states themselves often treat socialism as something essentially non-European that originated in Asia and was enforced upon them, threatening their otherwise profoundly European identity. Post-socialist studies have dedicated significant attention to workers, and changes in ideology and values of work that took place after socialism have ceased to exist. Workers are depicted as a group that has been denigrated and disadvantaged in post-socialism.

Keywords: Europe; national elites; post-socialism; socialism; Western Balkan; Yugoslav



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