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Chapter 12

POLI 212 Chapter 12: Nationalism and Ethnicity

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Political Science
POLI 212
Anthony Imbrogno

Nationalism  Nation: group of people who believe they are ancestrally related, share customs, norms, and language  Nationalism: identification and loyalty to one’s nation expressed politically to support sense of belongingness  Under feudalism: no nations, no states o Instead, complex web of alliances and loyalty  Bitter conflicts over religion led to Peace of Westphalia  State: legitimate use of force and collection of taxes (sovereignty) within defined borders assigned to a single ruler/government  Nation-state: one nation controls state apparatus; nation that corresponds to a country o A nation does not have to correspond to a country  E.g. Scots nation in UK o Nation can stretch across two countries  E.g. Basques across Spain and France  When a nation is not a nation-state, it is an ethnic group  Nation and ethnic groups as sources of identity  Roma = ethnic group with most hapless plight in Europe o Along with Jews, suffered most in Holocaust and still discriminated against today o Some people wrongly think Roma are nomads o France deported more than 10,000 Roma in 2009  Nicolas Sarkozy is most hostile European statesman toward the Roma  Sarkozy deported Roma – gave them 300 euros of “humanitarian reparation” and sent them back to Eastern Europe  Many observers called the deportations “ethnic cleansing”  Strong national and ethnic identities may not be harmful  considered a good thing because it gives a feeling of belongingness to people  Negative consequences of strong national identities may lead to political instability and even violence  Increased migration within and outside Europe has made the ethnic composition of European countries more complex Yugoslavia  Yugoslavia became communist after WWII but kept distance from Soviet Union  Violence broke out in Yugoslavia in 1991  Communist leaders (such as Seb Slobudan Milosevic and Croat Franju Tudjman) turned into fierce nationalists o People suddenly ready to die for ethnicity/nationality  Initially/historically all South Slavs belonged to same ethnic groups o Common origin explains why it’s difficult to distinguish members of the current ethnic groups by their physical appearance  Croats and Slovenes became Roman Catholic  mostly to the west, of Yugoslavia closest to Rome  Serbs and Macedonians became Christian Orthodox  mostly in west of Yugoslavia, under influence of Russian Christian Orthodox Church  Muslims in Yugoslavia were originally Christians living in the central region of Bosnia- Herzegovina o Practiced a controversial kind of Christianity considered heresy by other Christian churches o Manichaens; sometimes called Bosniaks o Sought protection of Ottoman Empire because not backed by a powerful outside religious center  converted to Islam voluntarily or by force  Albanians – ethnically not South Slavs o Dominant group in Kosovo; Serbs are minority in Kosovo  Different ethnic groups has greatly contributed to problems in Kosovo  Cruelty between Muslims and Serbs living together in Bosnia but also friendships across ethnic lines o When Communism was lifted from Bosnia-Herzegovina, old hatreds emerged  19 century – Ottoman Empire began to decay  allowed Serbs to form own kingdom of Serbia and Montenegrins to form own kingdom of Montenegro  Versailles Peace Conference created a very artificial entity called the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes o King was a Serb who established authoritarian regime  Renamed Kingdom of Yugoslavia (1929) o Didn’t consult the people  Other ethnic groups resented dominance of the Serbs o 1934 – a Croat assassinated the king  WWII – power relations changed between Croats and Serbs o Croatia became a puppet regime of Hitler and committed many atrocities against the Serbs  After WWII, Marshal Tito established a communist regime o Believed ethnicity had no place in communism  Organized the country in a way so that political lines didn’t follow ethnic lines  Language did contribute to ethnic divisions o Slovenes and Croats used the Roman alphabet o Other ethnic groups used the Cyrillic script o How people wrote gave a clear indication as to what ethnic group they belonged to  Huge economic inequalities among the ethnic groups o Slovenia had a per capita income 7x higher than in Kosovo and 3x higher than in Macedonia and Montenegro  After 1990 – Slovenia and Croatia attempted to become independent countries o Territorial integrity and self-determination in conflict with each other  Territorial integrity = international borders can be changed only by peaceful means and by common agreement  Self-determination = all people who so desire have the right to a sovereign and independent state o International community originally gave preference to territorial integrity  September 27, 1990 – Slovenian parliament decided that Yugoslavia federal law would no longer apply within borders of Slovenia o December 1990 – 89% of Slovenian voters approved independence in a popular referendum  May 1991 – 93% of Croatian voters approved appendence for Croatia in a popular referendum  June 1991 – Yugoslav PM warned Slovenia and Croatia that the Federal Government would use all means to stop their unilateral steps toward independence o Slovenia and Croatia formally declare independence the day after warning is issued  3 days after warning – armed hostilities broke out between the Yugoslav Federal Army and the Slovenian Militia o Hostilities spread to Croatia by early August  Germany pushed for international recognition of Slovenian and Croatian independence o Strong domestic pressure to give Slovenia and Croatia right of self-determination o Linked the issue to the recent German unification o All parties supported self-determination for Yugoslavia crisis o Germany used its strength to impose its will and get other Western Countries (USA, UK, France) to support right of self-determination for Slovenia and Croatia  January 1992 – EU recognizes Slovenia and Croatia as sovereign, independent states o UN recognizes Slovenia and Croatia in May 1992  Slovenia – hostilities were never severe and came to a quick end o Slovenia had advantage of being the most homogenous of the Yugoslav republics  90% Slovenes o Most Westernized and economically most developed o Only former Yugoslav republic to reach some degree of political and economic stability relatively quickly o Joined EU in 2004 – first region of former Yugoslavia to do so  Joined EU currency in 2007  Croatia – substantial minority of Serbs who were concentrated in the region of Krajina (south-center of Croatia) o In old Yugoslavia Krajina Serbs lived with Serbs of Serbian republic within the national borders of Croatia  Serbia has now become a foreign country to them  Situation not accepted by Krajina Serbs  Resistance supported by the Serbian leaders in Belgrade who still controlled the Yugoslav Federal Army  fighting erupted, Yugoslav federal army even attacked Croatian presidential palace in Zagreb o International media made Serbs seem like the aggressor  Croatian-Serbian war – War of Independence vs War of Secession o Perspective of American War of Independence – Croats have all rights on their side  Just as American colonies liberated selves from British domination, Croats liberated selves from Serb domination o Perspective of American War of Secession – US south tried to leave Union, President Lincoln used federal forces to stop them  Not wrong for Yugoslavia to use federal forces to stop Croatia from leaving  Krajina Serbs – did they have a right to self-determination? o They believed so  wished to be independent or join Serbia o Krajina had no common border with Serbia, but could’ve joined Serbia as a Croat enclave o Croatia severely restricted the rights of Krajina Serbs  E.g. replace Serbian road signs in their villages with Croatian signs o Croatian president Franjo Tudjman promised the EU that the Krajina Serbs would be given “special status”  enough for EU to not get involved in issue o Krajina Serbs were considered a minority with the right to autonomy but not to independence o Croatia was considered a territorially defined administrative unit and was entitled to independence  Krajina Serbs were relatively in a well-defined area, why couldn’t they claim this?  Krajina Serbs attempted this by forming the Serbian Republic of Krajina but neither Croatia nor the international community recognized this entity o Krajina region became more and more isolated and economically devastated o June 1993 – Krajina Serbs organizes a referendum where they decided overwhelmi
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