Cluster I: Nations, Nationalism & Globalization

From the early 1990s and up until 2002 I had been mostly preoccupied with researching the problematic of nations & nationalism in Southeastern Europe. While the overreaching theme of my work in this area has been to relate the problematic of nations and nationalism to the problematic of globalization, there are several specific books and related projects that are more explicitly concentrated on SE Europe. The wars of Yugoslav successor states and the post-1991 dispute between Greece and the Republic of Macedonia (the infamous "name issue") were hot international issues that attracted my attention. This led to several articles and book chapters and eventually to the publication of two edited volumes on Macedonia (2000) & the Balkans (2002) as well as two sole-authored monographs.

The first of these monographs was Nationalism, Globalization and Orthodoxy (2001), which was largely based on my 1996 doctoral dissertation. In that book, I argue that world-historical globalization is connected with the historical trajectory of the Eastern Mediterranean. While prior to 1820, nationalism emerged as an ideology strongly colored by Enlightenment ideology, it came later to be developed on an ethno-national basis. This tendency was the result of the regional pattern of nation building. The different perception and adaptation of two global discourses shaping the meaning of the "nation" were crucial to the local routes toward modernity. Within the discourse of citizenship, membership of a "nation" is fundamentally political and pertains to the rights and obligations of a citizen to his/her political community. In contrast, the discourse of nationhood employs particularistic criteria - derived from a local culture - as the basis of the "nation". Within this discourse, the "nation" is constructed in terms of the genealogical or cultural ties of an ethnic community. Lack of acculturation into the legitimate national culture provides a justification for a person's exclusion from the "imagined community". This argument suggests that the ethnic conflict in the Balkans is historically recent and is a result of the region's path to modernity.

Since this book is fundamentally a sociological history of the emergence of nationalism in SE Europe, the theoretical exploration of the relationship between nationalism and globalization has been a topic that I have pursued in my articles that appeared in the European Journal of Social Theory (1999) and Thesis Eleven (2014), with additional analyses published in chapters for the Handbook of European Studies (2009) & for Nations and Nationalisms: A Global Historical Overview (2008). The basic premise of these publications is that nationalism and globalization are complementary.

My second monograph, National Identity, Collective Memory and Ethnic Conflict (2002), is an application of this broad interpretation to the study of an on-going contemporary controversy, that of the Macedonian Question. It is the culmination of several publications – inclusive of my 1996 article published in the Journal of Modern Greek Studies as well as my edited volume (2000) on the Macedonian Question – that have sought to inquire into the post-1991 conflict between the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYR - Macedonia) and Greece over the "name issue". This book also incorporated several additional publications on minority-majority relations in the southern Balkans. In the monograph, historical research and interpretation are intertwined with the analysis of the contemporary, post-1991 contest between Greece (and to a lesser extent Bulgaria), on the one hand, and FYR - Macedonia, on the other hand, over the heritage of Macedonian culture and history. It also covers the post-1945 evolution of Albanian nationalism in Kosovo and FYR - Macedonia - up until the conclusion of the 2001 civil strife between Macedonians and Albanians. To this day, it remains the only sociological monograph on this topic.

In 2019, the Macedonian issue became once more highly publicized, because of the Athens - Skopje accord that formally ended the "name issue". On this occasion, part of the book was translated into Greek & partially revised in order to fit the demands of a different audience. It was published as Το Μακεδονικό Ζήτημα. Μια κοινωνιολογική προσέγγιση (Αθήνα, Επίκεντρο).

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