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European Journal of Social Theory 2(2): 233–247
Copyright © 1999 Sage Publications: London, Thousand Oaks, CA and New Delhi

Nationalism, Globalization, Eastern
Orthodoxy
‘Unthinking’ the ‘Clash of Civilizations’
in Southeastern Europe
Victor Roudometof
A M E R I C A N C O L L E G E O F T H E S S A LO N I K I , G R E E C E

Abstract
Although the historical process of globalization has promoted the nationstate as a universal cultural form, national ideologies are far from uniform.
This article explores how the competing discourses of citizenship and nationhood evolved in Southeastern Europe throughout the nineteenth and
twentieth centuries. By comparing the articulation of Serb, Greek and
Bulgarian identities, the essay examines how regional historical factors led
to the concept of nationhood becoming central to the formation of national
identity among the region’s Eastern Orthodox Christians. It demonstrates
that the subsequent regional national rivalries have been the consequence
of the local peoples’ route towards modernity, and cannot be attributed to
a ‘clash of civilizations’. Rather, the history of Southeastern Europe suggests
that the production of heterogeneity is inherent in the globalization
process.
Key words
■ Balkans ■ ethnicity ■ globalization ■ minorities ■ nationalism

In this article I examine how globalization is intimately involved in the historical
process of the articulation of local nationalisms and national identities. In
particular, my argument aims to illustrate the manner in which the process of
globalization is deeply involved in the production of local national rivalries in
Southeastern Europe. While one outcome of globalization has been the proliferation of the nation-state as a model of social organization (Roudometof, 1994),
this does not imply uniformity in the content of national ideologies. Over the

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Civic-oriented forms of nationalism are conceived of as natural and desirable. 1991) the ‘clash of civilizations’. citizenship and nationhood do not receive equal treatment. 1995. 1992). particularistic discourse of nationhood. 1995). Prodromou. However. such biased views show remarkable persistence in policy-making and historical discourse. universalistic dimension of ‘nationality’. 1994. they cannot be attributed to a ‘clash of civilizations’. Kohn.06 Roudometof (jr/d) 30/3/99 11:18 am Page 234 234 European Journal of Social Theory 2(2) last two centuries. or so-called ‘ethnic conflicts’. whereby rights and duties are distributed on an egalitarian basis. Social theory itself has absorbed into its vocabulary aspects of the philosophy of civil rights. The discourse of citizenship represents the approved. In nineteenth-century Southeastern Europe. it is necessary to reconsider some key ideas of the sociological tradition. 1989) use nationhood as their main element and disregard the earlier civic connotation of the ‘nation’. to be set against the disapproved. Although the conceptual and historical inaccuracies of these perspectives have been pointed out in the literature (see Todorova. Smith. in Southeastern Europe have been a product of the region’s reorganization according to the Western European model of the nation-state. Wallerstein. They persist because they are an extension. 1986. 1993. Kennan. Kohn.g. 1996). of the way in which social theory has traditionally conceptualized ‘society’ and the nation-state. indeed an outcome. especially with regard to political culture.g. Greenfeld. Berlin. In mass media. Kedourie. 1994. Alter. peripheral or non-Western nationalisms are routinely discussed in terms . a second group (e. civil society and democracy (Somers. 1991.g. but the historical factors discussed in this essay led to the success of nationhood. 1978. Globalization and the Nation-state in Southeastern Europe One of the most disturbing aspects of many commentaries on ethnic conflict in Southeastern Europe is the (neo-)Orientalist portrayal of these societies as prone to violence due to their cultural features (for example. which excludes those who do not share the defining characteristics of a particular community. Bendix. in order to ‘unthink’ (e. both citizenship and nationhood were pursued. Subsequent national rivalries. the global discourses of citizenship and nationhood have shaped local ideologies and national identities in distinctly different ways. while other nationalisms are viewed as deviations from this earlier normative standard (for example. While a number of authors (e. Huntington (1993) in particular argues that the ethnic conflict in the Balkans is a civilizational conflict (Islamic versus Orthodox versus Western). 1985. BakicHayden and Hayden. 1981. Rezun. 1991. 1963) have interpreted citizenship as the fundamental element of the national idea. Lipset. 1961. Kaplan. and the theoretical biases resulting from this influence are revealed in the treatment of nationalism in scholarly discourse. Greenfeld. Therefore. 1962: 12). Mojzes. 1992. an illustration of his broader point. that conflicts among civilizations will be the most significant conflicts of the post-communist ‘new world order’. 1991.

The implosion of time and space inherent in the process of globalization (Harvey. and the emergence of historically oriented and post-modernist perspectives have led to the questioning of such Eurocentric narratives. shaped as much by internal cultural and institutional configurations as by the availability of external options. 1982). Gran. Wallerstein. these factors have coalesced into regional.06 Roudometof (jr/d) 30/3/99 11:18 am Page 235 Victor Roudometof Nationalism. but one whose meaning is determined by different discourses. disciplinary and ideological discourses on globalization (Robertson and Khondker. 1974. as involving comparison with Others and the construction of national ‘authenticity’ out of a process of selective incorporation of organizational and cultural models. In order to cast modernity in a new light. the rise of world-system analysis (Wallerstein. an ideology of clearly Western origin. whereby. this similarity in form does not imply similarity in kind. 1995: 3) should not be viewed as a twentieth-century phenomenon. varying between contexts. 1995). Beck et al. a key epoch for the ‘take-off ’ 235 . that is. 1996) in human and social sciences has reshaped their orientation and has reconfigured conventional disciplinary boundaries. The concept of ethnonationalism crystallizes this line of interpretation (Connor. it becomes possible to consider the existence of divergent routes to modernity (see Therborn. into an Englishstyle (or French-style or German-style) ‘modernity’. the articulation of post-national forms of citizenship. facilitates the global cultural flows which allow local communities to appropriate ideas. it is necessary to conceive of modernization projects as inherently reflexive (cf.1 Since the end of the Second World War.. Thus while nationalism. practices and organizational forms developed in other places. 1979). At least since the closure of the global ecumene in 1500. instead of following the idea of a transition from a presumed ‘tradition’. turning Gemeinschaft into Gesellschaft). the revival of world history as a focus of scholarly discussion (Allardyce. ‘a social process in which the constraints of geography on social and cultural arrangements recede and in which people become increasingly aware that they are receding’ (Waters. Globalization of ‘tribalism’ or ethnic unrest. 1995). 1974). 1963. the world has been moving towards becoming a single place (McNeill. the very term ‘nation’ defies definition. Wolf. 1989). but I would suggest that this neglect is not inherent in the perspective itself. in which the dominant trend has been to concentrate on contemporary aspects. such as the reconfiguration of state sovereignty. that is. However. Indeed.. The subsequent neglect of the historical dimension has been duly criticized (Harvey. 1994). or the floating finance and labor markets. In fact. The ‘historic turn’ (McDonald.e. has served as an organizational principle for the overwhelming majority of states worldwide (Meyer and Hannan. Featherstone et al. During the 1990s. Such comparisons are political enterprises. 1996. 1990). globalization. the fundamental historicity of globalization leads to a reconsideration of the linear character of modernity (i. in which the ‘nation’ stands for a cultural form of worldwide importance.2 Therefore it is perhaps more salient to treat nations and nationalism as a discourse. 1994). 1998). 1995. interpretations that confirm assumptions of cultural superiority and inferiority. Since the nineteenth century.

This not only confuses the analytical and empirical levels of scholarship but also disregards historical contingency. . 1976). the second half of the twentieth century has witnessed the rise of peripheral ‘ethnic’ nationalisms in Northern Italy. For example. Second. and more important. the confessional model of social organization. During the eighteenth century. Second. They have been disseminated by travel. Citizenship and nationhood are not necessarily antithetical to each other. 1992: 49–60. although biased in favor of English civic nationalism. largely adapted from the Western European and American experience. printing and other forms of cross-cultural communication. Similar processes also took place in Southeastern Europe. Greenfeld (1991). cross-cultural contacts with the Western European intellectual currents led to a secular trend de-legitimizing the Ottoman Rum millet system. their success or failure should be examined in concrete historical terms. a variety of peoples. as a series of (mostly international) events transformed the region. The search for new models. together with the general crisis of the Ottoman empire. This relational mode of analysis offers particular advantages. it illustrates how the global discursive formations of citizenship and nationhood interact with local internal factors. a hierarchy that allows one or the other to become the foundational principle of a specific understanding of a ‘nation’ (Brubaker. citizenship and nationhood have operated as discursive formations. The analytical differentiation between citizenship and nationhood cannot be transferred to an empirical differentiation between ‘Western’ and ‘Eastern’ nationalisms (cf. a more fruitful approach is to ask how citizenship and nationhood are adapted in different contexts round the globe. dominant within the Ottoman Empire for almost four centuries (Roudometof. was a pervasive characteristic of nineteenth-century Balkan social life. ideas of citizenship as articulated options were pursued unsuccessfully by a number of Balkan activists. 1992). the Balkan peoples struggled between the options of nationhood and citizenship. Plamenatz. and adapted by. Spain. Over the nineteenth century. particularly after the 1820s. indicated the necessity for political reorganization. France and Britain. German and Russian national identities has been shaped by reactions to their English counterpart. 1998a). even in Western Europe. Their place in a specific social formation is a matter of cultural ordering.06 Roudometof (jr/d) 30/3/99 11:18 am Page 236 236 European Journal of Social Theory 2(2) phase of globalization (Robertson. While. and it is likely that they are present in every national culture. First. for Southeastern Europe (or any other historical setting). the discourse of nationhood was institutionalized by the native intelligentsia of the Balkan states. Third. it uses a common set of variables for explanatory purposes in varied social contexts and different historical cases. it avoids the over-determination of social processes by external or internal factors. nationhood and citizenship should be taken as a priori considerations. 1995). and thus made available to. Instead of trying to discover the ‘primordial’ element that determines the nature of nationalism per se. shows how the development of French.3 The creation of new states in the Balkans. I should emphasize that this conclusion was neither inevitable nor predetermined. First. Geyer and Bright. it allows for interactive and relational factors to be incorporated into the analysis.

1984). 1997). The recognition of ethnic variety led to an endorsement of multiculturalism and civic rights as a means to ensure the cooperation of the local ethnic groups. for the vast majority of peoples in Bosnia. 1984. British and American political institutions. State elites would have had their authority curtailed. and by its employment as a means to counter Magyar or Habsburg domination. In order to understand the discourse of citizenship as it manifested itself in Southeastern Europe. 1997. Globalization The Pursuit of Citizenship Historically. 1975: 13–28. French. 1994. Zlatar. 1980). 1983). the discursive formation of citizenship was articulated within the confines of the Western European and Anglo-American political formations (Navari. Grew. and not the secular. It was also a response to the uncomfortable reality that many of the lands claimed by the Croat nationalists were inhabited by large numbers of Serbs. without other ascriptive criteria. and during the nineteenth century institutional arrangements were postulated that would allow the ethnically heterogeneous population of the region to continue living together. During the nineteenth century. Croats and Slovenes (1917–18). but the federal project was not successful as the geopolitical rivalry among the emerging ‘national centers’ of Belgrade. later on. Macedonia. in so far as it aided a particular state’s or movement’s goals. 1998a). and not the ‘natural’ realization of a quality inscribed in the people themselves. These visions materialized with the creation of the kingdom of Serbs. Such arrangements were the basic goal of the Balkan federalists and the Yugoslav movement (Djordjevic. Gross. Greece. heavily influenced by French republican ideas. 1980. Karakasidou. By the 1790s. it is necessary to break with historiographic interpretations that assume an ‘essential’ quality to national identity. 1970. Athens. 1995). formal membership of a state’s political body. Todorov. its ascent was fostered by the weakness of the Croat national movement. The concepts of citizenship and citizen are intimately tied to the historical development of the German. Shashko. who. Sofia prevented its implementation. and this was contrary to their interests. promoted by some Habsburg Serbs and by many among the Croatian intelligentsia (Djordjevic. Citizenship entails the proposition of equal. which lacked strong popular support. Simply put. Bucharest and. but from the very beginning 237 . Bereciatru. Albania and other parts of the peninsula it was still the religious. In the early twentieth century a rising Croat intelligentsia of mostly middle-class background was able to form coalitions with the local Serbs and promote Yugoslavism. Federalism was pursued only as a tactical option. Vermulen. Skendi. 1994: 3–16.06 Roudometof (jr/d) 30/3/99 11:18 am Page 237 Victor Roudometof Nationalism. 1974. and their gradual redefinition and expansion over the last two centuries has been influenced by the particular context in each country. 1977. Therefore the development of national identity was the product of a deliberate ‘imagining’ (Anderson. that provided the major cultural marker of their identity (Malcolm. Yugoslavism was a predominantly intellectual movement. suggested that the peoples of Southeastern Europe overthrow the sultan and establish a republic (Roudometof. the idea of a federation had been put forward by Rigas Velestinlis. Dutch.

1984. against the impoverished. there remained . The nationalistic tendency was more successful in the long run. In many respects. By 1913. and had conquered most of the peninsula for themselves. and Sultan Abdul Hamid manipulated the situation to his own ends. Kushner. Still. and this conflict was to plague the new state for most of the twentieth century (Djilas. the Balkan states had defeated the Ottomans in the 1912–13 Balkan wars. From the 1890s. one between assimilation. as opposed to an Ottoman. Political liberalism would further the interests of the wealthy urban Ottoman Greek communities. 1978. After the 1908 revolution. Their aspirations called for a reconstitution of the empire as a multi-ethnic state. the problem was similar to the problems faced by other federal solutions. Their goal was to acculturate the minorities in a common culture – and not to grant them equal status as minorities. the Ottoman Orthodox commercial communities benefited from the growing incorporation of the empire into the world economy. The choice was. The elites of the Serb state viewed Yugoslavia as an extension of Serbia: Serbia was the Piedmont of the South Slavs. peasantry. The other major attempt to institutionalize citizenship took shape under the aegis of the Ottoman reformers. by serving as intermediaries between Western firms and Ottoman markets. the Young Turks became the dominant political force. 1992). However. and a more nationalistic wing calling for a revitalization of Turkish identity (Hanioglou. the Young Turks were in favor of cultural. Ramet. Banac. ruling as absolute monarch until 1908. 1995. and led to the abortive effort to establish a constitutional monarchy in 1876 (Svolopoulos. Kitsikis. Throughout the nineteenth century. but Yugoslavism was unique in that it had succeeded in becoming a real political solution.06 Roudometof (jr/d) 30/3/99 11:18 am Page 238 238 European Journal of Social Theory 2(2) the position of non-Serbs within this kingdom remained unclear. rather than political. Lewis. Ottoman Muslim intellectuals re-evaluated their Turkish heritage and increasingly called for a Turkish. which was supported by the Ottoman minorities. Ottomanism. Their claim to power was contested by the Croat elites. and provided the Balkan states with a rationale to unite against the Ottomans. itself divided into multiple factions. promoted by the Young Turks. 1977). From 1839. where they could exert influence beyond their status as reaya (subject). This philosophy found support among Ottoman statesmen. Braude and Lewis. The plan failed when Muslim traditionalists protested against the abandonment of Islamic principles. and predominantly Muslim. 1982). the Ottoman bureaucratic elites attempted to develop the concept of Ottomanism as a means to create bonds of social solidarity that could transcend religious or ethnic differences among their subjects. Two main groups dominated the agenda: a liberal wing calling for political liberalism. 1980. identity. 1979. 1991. the growing economic gap between the Muslims and the Orthodox Christians presented an obstacle to the success of this approach. The Young Turks’ assimilatory policies after 1908 were greatly resented. to use contemporary vocabulary. Although widespread promises were made to the Ottoman minorities. favored by the Ottoman minorities. and multiculturalism. who envisioned Yugoslavia as a confederation of equal nations. The reign of Abdul Hamid saw the growth of the dissident Young Turk movement.

Landau. The Triumph of Nationhood The specific reasons outlined above meant that citizenship failed to become the dominant political feature in the emerging national societies of the region. movements such as Young Italy. religion or skin color within the industrialized democracies of the West (Gran. The Young Turks promoted economic nationalism and began a campaign of terror against the minorities in an effort to undermine their class position and create a national bourgeoisie (Ahmad.06 Roudometof (jr/d) 30/3/99 11:18 am Page 239 Victor Roudometof Nationalism. While these options were being pursued. Young Germany. 1992. Serb and Bulgarian version of the ‘nation’ through such devices as historical narrative. 1981). the discourse of nationhood was also being articulated within the confines of the new Balkan nation-states. Rothschild. Ergil. effectively putting an end to all previous Ottoman promises. Within the discourse of citizenship. Globalization the problem of Ottoman minorities in Anatolia (mainly Ottoman Greeks and Armenians). These international currents did not escape the attention of the newly formed Balkan states.4 The articulation of nationhood found fertile ground in nineteenth-century romanticism. who gradually came to be seen as obstacles to state modernization (Arai. 1986. 1996. within the discourse of nationhood it provides the very foundation of national identity. the 239 . Kitsikis. thus transforming them into nations. religious symbolism. which exerted considerable influence on the expression and the reception of French. folk culture) are elevated into determinants of the legitimate membership of a nation. where cultural markers (religion. Its ultimate codification was in the 1917 principle of selfdetermination. Nationhood implies a complex of ideas and mentalities concerning the politicization of cultural life. which paved the way for the reconstruction of the political map of Eastern Europe. Italian and German nationalisms (Bereciatru. 1975). Indeed. language. Young Ireland and Young Switzerland proceeded to utilize the romantic spirit to create social and cultural cohesion. thus creating room for the concept of ‘ethnicity’. Between 1830 and 1880 a romantic nationalist intelligentsia shaped the Greek. 1994: 42–6). whose intelligentsia was eager to show its modernity by adapting itself to the intellectual currents of the time. class. Throughout Europe. The ‘nationalities’ principle emerged after the 1789 French Revolution and after the 1830 Revolution it gained considerable popularity. Hobsbawm. 1996: 256–8). as membership of existing ethnies or ethnic communities is politicized (Smith. However. 1980. a different kind of national identity is born. whilst ‘ethnicity’ serves in that case as a complementary category. When social bonds are created by such a process. membership of a ‘nation’ becomes a political issue of rights and duties. Young Turkey. 1978). 1981. its promotion by the local states was one of the factors that inhibited the success of Ottomanism. which serves to designate distinctions of race.

In their collective production of local national narratives these intelligentsias developed grandiose irredentist dreams that gradually brought the local states into conflict with each other. Greek and Bulgarian ‘imagined communities’. The establishment of the Bulgarian Exarchate was the most visible and dramatic manifestation of the fragmentation of Eastern Orthodox universalism. Serbia 1832. beginning with the Grecophone Balkan Enlightenment of the late eighteenth century (Roudometof. with national secular identity gaining dominance over the religious identity of the Rum millet. the first step was to manipulate religious institutions so as to transform these ties into national ones (Castellan.06 Roudometof (jr/d) 30/3/99 11:18 am Page 240 240 European Journal of Social Theory 2(2) reinterpretation of folklore and the writing of nationalist literature and poetry (Roudometof. resulting in the total collapse of the existing organizational structure. and the continuing process of secularization (Kofos. prose and journalism for nation-building further contributed to this process. and the . Membership of a church became equivalent to membership of a nation. In line with European romanticism. Underlying this process of nation-building was the long-term process of secularization of Southeastern Europe. Given that the ties connecting the Balkan Orthodox population were predominantly religious. the Bulgarian Exarchate 1870) provided the means through which the traditional ties of Orthodox Balkan peoples could be severed. Castellan. and of Orthodoxy as part of the Balkan peoples’ national identity. 1974). SS Cyril and Methodius’ Day. these empires were conceived of as national states and not as imperial non-national formations. were reinterpreted as national symbols of the emerging Greek. The institution of separate national churches (Greece 1832. 1986: 107–20). but it was constrained by the rising Greek and Bulgarian nationalisms. St Vitus’ Day. it is not surprising that for Balkan nationalists. and new national ties constructed. all of which had initially religious connotations. Meininger. The Greek–Bulgarian ecclesiastical schism (1872) signified a major shift in the nature of church affiliation. Serb and Bulgarian nations (Roudometof. 1984: 347–75. the Fall of Constantinople. 1998b. The use of poetry. The Serbs wished for the reconstitution of Tsar Dusan’s medieval empire. This choice was dictated by the widespread illiteracy of the Balkan peasantry: the shortest route for nation-building was to shift the meaning of church affiliation and turn it into an equivalent of national affiliation. 1998a). the Bulgarians for the reconstruction of the medieval Bulgarian empire and the Greeks for the resurrection of the Byzantine empire. As church affiliation became the domain of nationalists. 1985). Secular schools taught national identity alongside literacy. there was a redeployment of religious symbolism as national symbolism. During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries the authority of the Patriarchate of Constantinople became identified with Greek irredentism. The political cleavage between Christians and Muslims was reinterpreted as a national cleavage between ‘oppressed’ Balkan peoples and Ottoman ‘oppressors’. Annunciation Day. 1984). The Patriarchate was a rather reluctant agent in this process. Education provided the means through which the Orthodox Balkan peasantry was socialized into the emerging Serb. 1998b.

Ironically. the megalomania of the Balkan nation-states. did not emerge in a vacuum. as expressed in the region during the late 1980s and early 1990s. 1989). Globalization use of nationalist rhetoric in the education system contributed to growing animosity among the Balkan peoples. the successful production and reproduction of national ideologies in the region has owed much to the wellcrafted relationship between the local intelligentsia and the nation-state (Salecl. During the second half of the twentieth century. Shoup. not one of the local nation-states was able completely to satisfy its aspirations. Vouri. 1987: 73–4). 241 . Karakasidou. economic and cultural reorganization of Southeastern Europe according to the model of the homogeneous nation-state over the past two centuries. these tensions were expressed in the debates about centralization (Ramet. 1994. The new arrangement fostered Serb resentment. Since 1989. Even so.06 Roudometof (jr/d) 30/3/99 11:18 am Page 241 Victor Roudometof Nationalism. Such visions were the product of their efforts to mimic Western history in their own national genealogies. was an expression of their peculiar internal connection with the ‘West’ (Skopetea. 1994. the resurrection of Yugoslavia under Tito postponed. Serb educational textbooks did not even recognize the Croats as a nation (Jelavich. Macedonia and Albania (or the more well-known case of Cyprus). education provided one of the main sites of competition among Serb. Bulgarian and Greek nationalist organizations (Georgeoff. Consequently. the ‘new world disorder’ of nationalism. The origins of these problems lie in the political. propelled the recognition of the ‘Muslim’ nation in Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1971. After the Second World War. 1990: 54). During the nineteenth century. this reorganization led to the elevation of nationhood into the foundational principle in regional nation-formation. nationalist tensions. The 1912–13 Balkan wars and the two world wars offered the opportunity to turn these irredentist visions into reality. Verdery. thus offsetting Serbian power within the federation. Kosovo and Vojvodina became autonomous units within Serbia. For example. The dynamics of the ‘national question’ in the former Yugoslavia are similar to those of the less publicized cases of Bulgaria. 1992). and the attempt to transplant these models into a social context that had been developed along vastly different historical trajectories (Stokes. 1993). which. it was the latest twist to problems that have plagued the politics of relations in the region since the nineteenth century. Due to the historical factors outlined in this essay. Rusinow. decentralized federal structure in 1974 (Rusinow. and in Ottoman Macedonia. prior to 1910. all of them possessed by ‘anachronistic’ imperial visions out of proportion to their size. According to the new arrangement. 1992. and the new. and these remained alive at least until the 1940s. but did not remove. 1977). then. alongside charges of Serb ‘domination’. As my discussion has demonstrated. and by the 1980s this fueled a new cycle of ethnic and national rivalry (Dragnich. and their attempts to participate in it through their irredentist projects. 1968. 1992: 105). the process of nation-formation in the region was determined by the strong influence of the Western organizational models. In the 1960s and 1970s. mass media and intellectual support have been instrumental in the success of nationalist agendas. Of course. 1982). 1973.

However. In such an environment. Macedonian Slavs and a host of others were. where the institutionalization of nationhood has been codified in their post-1989 constitutions (Hayden. 1995). and are still. During the second half of the twentieth century. Serb or Greek nations. Thus. this outcome is only one facet of the broader point supported by this discussion. and not to a ‘clash of civilizations’. For minority groups outside a nation-state’s boundaries this conception entails a view of the nation-state as their external national homeland (Brubaker. the foundational myth of modern Europe is to be found in the EU’s claim that its rules. regulations and cosmopolitan culture should be extended to the other European states. and their inclusion in the national political body becomes unrealistic (Roudometof. but to the adoption of nationhood as the foundational form of national identity among the Eastern Orthodox Christians of the region. The efforts of the local states to construct cultural homogeneity within their territories has thus come under scrutiny by an international community which no longer views such projects favorably. Such a trend is increasingly at odds with the prevailing international and EU standards. rival nation-states promote a conception of nationhood that emphasizes the genealogical. Bosnian Muslims. they reasonably develop a propensity for ‘exit’ (i. Conclusion The argument in this article is that actual or potential ethnic conflicts in Southeastern Europe are related to rivalries generated by the region’s reorganization according to the Western European model of the nation-state. minorities’ status as equal citizens comes under question. The recurrent phenomenon of ethnic conflict is due not to ‘tribalism’. while human rights have become an issue of international importance. and when their status comes under question. secession) from the state they inhabit. that by understanding the impact of Western organizational models in non-Western contexts we can better understand how homogeneity and . 1996b). not of their ‘backwardness’.06 Roudometof (jr/d) 30/3/99 11:18 am Page 242 242 European Journal of Social Theory 2(2) discrimination against minorities has been legitimized via reference to cultural difference: Muslim Pomaks. This proposition creates serious problems for a number of Southeastern European states. As Judt (1996: 41) suggests. since it reveals the modernity of ‘local’ regional problems and their connections to global processes. The adoption of the nation-state was a manifestation of the Balkan peoples’ ‘modernity’.5 My discussion also highlights the structural and cultural difficulties involved in any future EU expansion into Southeastern Europe. While these policies are being implemented. that is. not viewed as ‘genuine’ members of the Bulgarian. the experience of Southeastern Europe illustrates the importance of the concept of globalization as part of historical and cultural analysis. The presence of large numbers of minority groups throughout the region further exaggerates the tensions created by such a pattern of intra-state and inter-state relations.e. historical and ethnic claims of a particular ethnic group over the nation’s ‘soil’. 1996a. 1992). state sovereignty has been radically reconfigured.

Billig. 5 Robertson (1992) and Barber (1995) have acknowledged the simultaneous production of homogeneity and heterogeneity as a corollary of globalization. this ‘odd’ (to Western eyes) combination of global and local factors has produced an admittedly turbulent ‘route to modernity’. but this lacks the connotations of the English ‘nation’ since it refers to culturally integrated units displaying strong sentiments of collective solidarity. Hence. but to consider them as ‘national revolutions’ is to accept the nationalistic biases of local historiography at face value (see Chirot and Barkey. 1992). is absent from immigrant states such as the US. Princeton University) and Gerard Delanty (Sociology. Earlier revolutionary movements had their origins in a variety of causes (including elements of nationalism). 4 The postulate of nationhood as a discursive formation resulting from the politicization of ethnicity solves the theoretical problem of clearly differentiating ethnie from nation. University of Liverpool) for their helpful remarks in revising earlier drafts of the manuscript. the two Egyptian crises (1839–42) and the gradual emergence of an Ottoman bureaucracy following the 1821 Greek revolution. 243 . Australia. he claims. The author would like to thank Professors Roland Robertson (Sociology. Wilson School. 1989: 4–22. this did not include adherence to the standard of citizenship. While Southeastern Europe underwent a reorganization according to the nationstate form. Globalization heterogeneity are simultaneous outcomes of globalization (Robertson. Nationalism. 1989). and Veremis. the latter a property of other peoples. Smith’s (1991: 40) definition of the nation is a circular one. making it difficult to analytically differentiate between ethnie and nation. Connor differentiates between ‘patriotism’ and ‘nationalism’: the former is a property of the US. Stokes. which constitutes the dominant discourse in the Anglo-American world. 1981: 32–41). or non-Quebec Canada. the initial stirrings of the Bulgarian national movement (1838). Elizabeth H. the creation of the Greek kingdom (1832). University of Pittsburgh). Krejci and Velimski. 3 This list includes the recognition of Serb autonomy (1830). Connor (1993: 374–6) claims that nationalism is an irrational primordial force that arises in ethnic groups that claim common origins of blood. 1976. in German a sharp distinction is drawn between Nation and Staat (Alter. Earlier versions were presented at the 1998 World Congress of Sociology and the 1998 American Sociological Association Annual Meetings. Notes Partial support for the writing of this article was provided by the 1996–7 Mary Seeger O’Boyle Post-Doctoral Fellowship of the Program in Hellenic Studies at Princeton University. This differentiation allows Western authors to situate ‘nationalism’ in other societies and to be wilfully blind to the nationalism of their own societies (cf. 1 In particular. The term ‘narod’ is used in a number of Eastern European languages. Prodromou (W. 2 Whilst in English the word indicates membership of a sovereign state (note the use of the adjective ‘national’ instead of ‘inter-state’ in organizations such as the United Nations). The article is in large part a preview of an unpublished manuscript. 1995: 56). the organic statute of the Danubian principalities (1831). however their main focus has been on contemporary facets of globalization.06 Roudometof (jr/d) 30/3/99 11:18 am Page 243 Victor Roudometof Nationalism. 1984.

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