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Fear, Transition and Democracy in the Balkans

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image of Southeastern Europe

Ana Hofman, Guest Editor

The article puts emphasis on the fact that fear is to be articulated in the intersection between the universal structure of modernity and the particular historical narrations of the Balkans. The interpretation of history and the relationship with hope determine the meanings of fear. Fear is treated as the imagining of threats based on the re-memorization of the past and the experience of a fragile future. Hope is a positive anticipation or expectation concerning the future but exposed to the possibility of frustration. These moments are analyzed in the context of transition from the single-party based “socialism” to capitalism. The countries of the Balkans represented variations on the authoritarian welfare state project that entered crises at the end of 1960s. Ethnic conflicts in this part of Europe have been intensified under the increased economic pressures that had been latent for decades. Therefore, the fear of declassation that the middle class is experiencing has resulted in the fact that we cannot understand different national conflicts explaining the actual fears of middle class. Hence, it is necessary here to determine the structural basis of fear and hope. In order to understand the fears of the Balkans we need to reflect on the capitalism created in the meantime. It is noticed that the restorative orientation followed by the political elites during the transition causes the formation of fear axes regarding the understanding of national identity, as well as fear related to the preservation of national determination.

Affiliations: 1: University of Novi Sad Faculty of Technical Sciences Department for Social Sciences


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