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Understanding the balkans

conference dedicated to balkans and globalization

--- day 1 --- introduction melentie (see brochure)

--- sandra...

1. critique of the main theories working from the global perspective. 1. world system theorie (manuel wolfstein) political/military -> economic core, semi-peripherie, peripherie critique: west-centrism area studies, scholars, emic (from inside) or ethic perspective (from outside), coming from phon... there was no emic perspective of the balkans until recently

2. globalisation as integration into the modern (western) world, viktor rudometov nationalism, globalisation and othrodoxism subtitle, "social origins of ethnic conflicts in the balkans" attempt to provide an emic perspective western civic nationalism was exported to the balkans and turned into ethnic nationalism minorities ghave been marginalised and assimilited in the balkans lacking considering local and religious communities

2. need for a more flexible concept of glob., processes of localization and develop ...

economy, financial and coommercial politics, international relations cultural relations environment

process is not uni-vocal

anthropologists roland robertson "the universalisation of the particular" vv georgica jana jesare popi

developments of the last decade as a reverse globalisation (or better modernisation) overlay, normal evolutions are blocked or influenced by major powerplayers

3. etymological, western centered concepts, that's why balkans remain exotic

try to deconstruct globalisation derrida western perspective european identity ref. to old greek also, balkans is not us (we are not you) change perspective, even when western concepts theories are used

analysis has to start from the local context results can be compared with the western theories

--- stevan

maria tudorova "imagining the balkans" understanding the balkans zizek polanski, "the nineth gate" lucifer master-slave relationship 'boris balkan', blinded by his enjoyment stereotypes balkanian pleasure vs. western castrated, rationalism ottoman name for balkans: rumelian balkans from the west seen as an 'orient' implemented in europe

robert kaplan 1993 about balkans fascinated by book "black lamb and grey falcon", early 20th cent.

phantasms: harmonious world that completed its global form (capitalism, multiculturalism) vs certain types of enjoyment that cannot be left to some people


--- bojan

globula, sphere with liquid neologism

what is the phenoma? classic, approach, point at things that maybe not coherent facts in themselves

assuming shape of globula, keeping inside liquid contents (for now balkan culture, political process, etc.)

effect of some trauma, experienced by strong winds of power dismanteling institutional, practical experience of the balkans

sphere is the ideal shape, smallest surface with largest volume

emperial order (ottoman, yugoslav) macedonian: request for leadership loss of political desire world is not entirely constructed from historical pieces from the past but also, constructed from institution bound to dissappear

skopje, british, french, german, serbian, military cemeteries

--- ferid

propose some thoughts, raw material "savoir pour prevoire, prevoire pour pouvoire" what is most probably what can happen? solution vs outcome passive attitude in balkanic countries where is the long term vision?

based on three diff stages: amnesis, diagnosis, treatment we must shape our future

main idea to understand what is going on we must take the historical approach anthonyms balkanisation suggests fragmentation globalisation the opposite

last 50 years world was antagonised, strongest was in the regions until conflict early 90s, balkans were quite peaceful and safest in the world after the fall of the iron curtain, globalisation forced balkanisation

dialectical approach globalisation is about loosing identity, balkanisation is aabout preserving identity. nations loose their identity, dignity and personality.

international crisis group publishing 45 pages, title "osama bin laden and the balkans". region is exposed.

balkan region was quite diverse and different, now they are more or less all the same.

what kind of mentality lies behind this? we cannot understand human action in terms of absolute determinism, but more in terms of motivation, it is not causality.

in a strict sense of understanding the world there are reasons, but no causes. hiding intentions, neglecting motivations

balkan is victim of this mentality. develop a strategy to cope with this.

example: after sept.11 in usa anachronic reaction by bombing another country "we are good and love freedom and they are not"

xenophobia - xenophilia = new source of conflict

make a projection of our regional future being selective to outside influences

problems in darwinsm: missing link between apes and men stop the search in the light of the human history of the last 50 years there no causes for wars, only motives lack of healthy feeling guilty not blaming the outside factors missing link: we are

balkan can, dillegence, capability we must develop our regional globalisation

--- melentie

some comments:

position of the center and the peripherie does it make sense for the people from the balkan notions of diversity and harmonisation

globalisation: monetary, economic, sometimes, culturally privitisation of economies, imf/worldbank domination, rules

absence of ethics (quote ferid)

possibilities of (global) revolution

technologies (internet, bio, etc.) helped to create the perspective of globalisation cultural, the regional impact is a global one as well

main exponents: - biotech, genitic.manipulation - influx of capital - food, medicin

700m chinese eat exclusively g.m.-food

answer to demand overcome famine

for how long can we feed ourselves

is there a theory of globalisation or just practice how do we produce a positive relation?

--- dimitrina and alain

this environment: museum, antiques, we hear the sound from the mosqs only one occasion in the ehibit mentions turkish poets from middle ages

conf. sofia, desconstruction of the political (oa. derrida)

deconstruct the cultural space and somehow the history

we are here in a museum space, similar to other in various countries we tend to forget sometimes, that these museum present official history by official institutions constructing our national identity

artschoolbooks are constructed upon the same principles

emphasised in these schoolbooks, link between the current state of bulgaria and the antique greek and their colonies, similar links with roman and byzantine emph. byzantine

link with ottoman was not presented except in the context of the becoming of the bulgarian national identity.

administrative ...?

it was preached to us until 12 years ago that we are part of a higher organisation. in bulg. cultural space until 10.nov.1989, barbarian = negative term. often the g.dimitrov at the leipzig, how charles the great was speaking german to his horses

after the fall of the berlin wall, a. broeckman ref. 'the embittered balkanians'. comes from he fact that the west has not appreciated the heroism realized our radical regionalism interview, alexandra titu (art.hist), rumenia is a place where cultures meet. in this context, two polar circles have been formed among people dealing with theory. 1. carefull analysis and theory of history - speaking about balkan identity, must look at national identities 2. defend the classic model of history

debat in media, article alexander domuv, pres. council of electronic media was published in 'democracia': title: "the new barbarians" speaking of intellectuals who wanted to destroy the ... of democracy speaking about people who deconstruct traditional history and formations of identity what was positive in public reaction, first time people looked at the term barbarian as something positive. became popular and marketable. making a step away from the idea of bulg. high culture. ref. zizek

reading excerpt by vladimir ... published in cultura


the balkan patient or the balkan client

since 19th cent. balkans more political term deterritorialization, borders have lost value as in the modern world conflicts not between countries, but accross societies "kristoph: 'radical provincialism', nobody is writing a scenario for us"

other example: switzerland, why not part of the eu? explained by radical provincialism (!?)

alexander kiossev

balkans were never analysed in the context of post-colonialisation

there is a tendency to look at the west (west-eu) as one block calls: self-colonialisation

globalisation is not for everyone

popov: the interface as a mechanism of power

the social interface on the balkans are the ngo's

--- reactions:

--- nada: 2 positions: 1. no theory 2. overtheorized there many theories, offer an excellent choice it is difficult to see the balkans as a whole societies should be more individualized and work together

theoretical sense knutsen: parallel worlds and lives, cultures

discussion whether globalisation is western or not 50yrs ago, glob. was not seen as western

only westerners are dealing with globalisation (communication)

balkans: parallel worlds consumers much more than producers communicate via western thinking and technologies

--- ventislav

communication between balkan countries mirror stage (authorisation by the west) crit.: using the west as a mirror global flow of capital, monopolized by the west, economical, moral, esthetical... glob. looks like horizontal structure

q. how can we escape this mirror stage, talking with my neighbour,

projects without western sponsors

work on an underground level

--- stefan

one work around would be that the west does not exist focus on ourselves...

--- alain

streamlined since soros

--- melentie

ngo should be looked at differentiated

--- sandra

misunderstanding institutions are essential features of modernity communication

--- walter

- prot.kath. culture - eu. father trading water installations - bookkeeping (adminstration)

--- stop talking english

--- sally

language issue maori networking helped to structure themselves

--- day 2 ---


general framewerk

international relations, workgroup university issue of south eastern europe and balkans terminology maria todurova treats the terms as equal, meaning cornerstone southeastern europe original nazi now restored regional cooperation, all signed the pact of southeast europe

balkans southeastern europe (initial french terminology) (initial german terminology0

for a long time, the region was called european turkey

  • orientalism * westernism turkish influence, close german influence, related to central links with near east europe
  • intraregional border-lines: * intraregional border-lines: ethnic, national political, commercial, spiritual
  • religions * religions islam, orthodoxy, catholicism catholicism, orthodoxy, islam
  • strong social * social eclectisism traditionalism/ social modernism patriarchal sttructural
inconsistent terminology unclear geographical borders hegemonic influences: Ottoman Empire, Austro-Hungarian Empire, EU, USA de-standardized approaches weak communication links fluctuations in exchange of goods (trade) social disruptions underdevelopment; recent industrialization attempts to build common history:
  • federations
  • ronneberger (german general): the seven major people of region: rumanians, hungarians, slovaks, greeks, serbs, croats, bulgarians, albanians and slovenes. had unsuccesfully attempted to build the political framewerk of their region "from within" attempts at self-definition
central europe / southeastern europe

1. the mythical project the idea of the region: czeslaw milosz; milan kundera. hybrid identities: "common experiences and ever changing boundaries" 2. methodological inconsistency: jessie labov 3. identity politics / hidden markers europeanism ethnicism cosmopolitanism nationalism

Q: to much emphasis on these issues and not on --- alexander

center for advanced study, sofia, est this year

not discussing results of research but the conditions

southeast european academic league

cas: goal norm small independent inst. of academic brilliance to (fin.) support research ideal goal: academic ivory towers southeast this is practically impossible bridging conservative, nationalist academia and more exp. inn. studies regional orientation

nexus 12-14 scholars part of blue bird prject, ivan kristif, agenda for civil society in eastern europe positive agenda and vision about balkans sceptical group connect acadmic research with political tasks

--- vesna etc. crossover

--- venti balkan ass

--- kuda