By David Bruce Macdonald
Balkan Holocausts? compares and contrasts Serbian and Croatian propaganda from 1986 to 1999, studying every one group's modern interpretations of heritage and present occasions. It bargains a close dialogue of holocaust imagery and the historical past of victim-centered writing in nationalism thought, together with the hyperlinks among the comparative genocide debate, the so-called holocaust undefined, and Serbian and Croatian nationalism. No stories on Yugoslavia have to date committed major area to such research.
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Extra resources for Balkan holocausts?: Serbian and Croatian victim-centred propaganda and the war in Yugoslavia (New Approaches to Conflict Analysis)
70 While he admits that there are some ‘pre-existing differentiating marks’ that might form part of the basis of nationalism, these are seen as secondary to the larger process of nation-building that occurred in modernity. 71 The nature or extent of such ‘marks’ failed to enter into Gellner’s discussion, since he argued that ‘The cultural shreds and patches used by nationalism are often arbitrary historical inventions. ’72 Thus nationalist symbols are seen as instrumental only – they could be anything, so long as they performed a certain social and political function – that of channelling popular support for the nationalist elite.
The second group of myths, focusing on the chosenness or divinity of the nation, I have termed ‘primary myths of identification’, since these, in the created history of nationalism, describe the moment or series of events when the nation was either created or chosen, and imbued with righteous qualities. The third group of myths I have termed ‘negative myths of identification’, simply because they rely on negative forces or agencies seeking to subvert the nation’s destiny, or in more extreme cases, to assimilate or destroy the nation altogether.
30 As Kecˇmanovic´ and Schöpflin have both argued, secularised religious imagery and a sense of national superiority have 22 2441Chapter1 16/10/02 8:03 am Page 23 What is the nation? Towards a teleological model grown out of a religious tradition, even if national ‘believers’ possess only vestiges of religious belief. Certainly, religion, whether in vestigial form or fully elaborated, can often be an important aspect of national identity. In many cases, nationalists have adopted and manipulated, rather than condemned, religion.