confessional and political contexts. Reappraisingand scrutinizing the legacy of multicultural empi-res (Habsburg Monarchy, India, Ottoman Empire)did not mean succumbing to nostalgic mirages. Se-veral presentations demonstrated that imperial im-peratives and strategies of consolidation or coer-cion, which often both presupposed and constitu-ted the existence of allegedly homogeneous eth-nic,confessionalorprestige-basedgroups(castes
, monolithic religions [Hinduism],
), warrant closer examination. It also be-came obvious that we need to locate particularpower-bargaining, trade-offs, and reciprocal arran-gements
these groups as well within multi-cultural and multiconfessional states
(Fikret Ada-nir)(e.g.thatthereareparochial,particularistiden-tities on a local level opposed to intrusions of acentralizing state but also opposed to neighbou-ring groups). Thus identity and self-identiﬁcationbecame key notions throughout the meeting. The-se enabled the participants to explain how variousidentities (empire/state vs. regional, ethnical group
See Shalini Randeria: Kastensolidarität als Modus zi-vilgesellschaftlicher Bindungen? Selbstorganisation undRechtspluralismus im (post)kolonialen Indien in Dieter Go-sewinkel et al. (eds.): Zivilgesellschaft – national und trans-national (Jahrbuch des Wissenschaftszentrums Berlin 2003),Berlin 2004.
For this tenet of self-stylization among e.g. – crudely put– emancipated Jewry in the Habsburg Monarchy, see OskarGrün: Franz Joseph der Erste in seinem Verhältnis zu den Ju-den, Zurich, 1916 and David Rechter: Kaisertreu. The Dyna-stic Loyalty of Austrian Jewry in Klaus Hödl (ed.): JüdischeIdentitäten: Einblicke in die Bewußsteinslandschaft des ös-terreichischen Judentums, Innsbruck 2000, S. 189-208, com-pare Joseph Roth’s memorable description of the ﬂock of rabbis courting Francis Joseph on the manoeuvres in Galicia(Radetzkymarsch
Munich 1994, S. 269-271); gene-rally on the imagery of Francis Joseph as overarching iden-tifying ﬁgure of the Monarchy as represented in hindsight inthe Austrian literature of the interwar period Leopold R. De-cloedt: Imago Imperatoris. Franz Joseph in der österreichi-schen Belletristik der Zwischenkriegszeit, Vienna, 1995. Thecommemoration of the emperor - as transnational Central-European lieu de mémoire – would merit comparative ef-forts.
See further Fikret Adanir: Die Schulbildung in Griechenland(1750-1830) und Bulgarien (1750-1878) im Spannungsfeldder ethnisch-konfessionellen Identität, Entstehung der bür-gerlichen Gesellschaft und Herausbildung des Nationalbe-wußtseins in: Wolfgang Schmale, Nan L. Dodde (eds.): Re-volution des Wissens? Europa und seine Schulen im Zeitalterder Aufklärung 1750-1825. Ein Handbuch zur europäischenSchulgeschichte, Bochum 1991, S. 431-466 and for the issueof the Partriarchate and dissolution of the Ottoman Empireand its implication for the millets id.: Der Zerfall des Osma-nischen Reiches in Alexander Demandt (ed.): Das Ende derWeltreiche. Von den Persern bis zur Sowjetunion, Munich1997, S. 108-128.
a vs. ethnical group b, confession x vs. confessiony) were historically non-exclusive, how they hadoften coexisted without causing the kind of fric-tion or (retroactive) claims to superiority that na-tionalist political agitators later claimed for them,as in the case of mutual relations on the „langua-ge frontiers“ in the 19th century Habsburg Monar-chy (Pieter M. Judson
) and the nationalist focuson schooling as a means to spread national identi-ties and thus promote conﬂict among groups. Thehistorically widespread
ability to mas-ter the codes necessary to move in a plurilingualand polycentric society („code-switching“) has be-en dubbed pluriculturalism (Anil Bhatti), a pheno-menon necessarily and conveniently to be distin-guished from multiculturalism. It is beneﬁcial andimportant to juxtapose the concepts of multicul-turalism and pluriculturalism which should not beconfused: The capability to manoeuvre in a
syncretistic cultural system
, as pivot of a va-rietyofallegiances,loyaltiesandoverlappingiden-tiﬁcations should be clearly distinguished – with-out nostalgia – from a
of petriﬁed, tor-pid groups.The term Multiculturalism elicits several asso-ciations, from lofty political manifestos to acade-mic „culture wars“. Indeed, as the contributions tothe meeting made clear , the term multiculturalismcould and can – both historically and theoretical-ly, – function as a double-edged weapon: It canexert oppression in that it constitutes groups in anexclusionary sense, congeals categories in the ri-gidiﬁcation of its compact, prevents some groupsfrom participating in its framework, (as PamelaBallinger demonstrated in her studies on Istria
),supports a kind of crypto-assimilation to recogni-zed groups for the sake of expediency, and it canproduce perpetually compartmentalized „back-to-back“ societies (Shalini Randeria).
The meeting made clear that both Europe andthe former European colonies may be viewed asbeing in an entangled „postcolonial“ condition –
See Pieter M. Judson: Guardians of the Nation. Activists onthe Language Frontiers of Imperial Austria, Harvard 2006.
Pamela Ballinger: History in Exile. Memory and Identity atthe Borders of the Balkans, Princeton 2002.
Compare e.g. Jeremy King on the work of disentanglementof unequivocal identities broken down into distinct nationa-lities: Budweisers into Czechs and Germans. A Local His-tory of Bohemian Politics 1848-1948, Princeton 2005, andthe power-bargaining in the course of the Moravian compro-mise, T. Mills Kelly: Last best chance or last gasp? The com-promise of 1905 and Czech politics in Moravia in: AustrianHistory Yearbook 34 (2003), S. 279-301.
© H-Net, Clio-online, and the author, all rights reserved.