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A Politics Of Sorrow : The Disintegration of Yugoslavia

Black Rose Books

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A Politics Of Sorrow


 Davorka Ljubisic







"There is no greater sorrow on earth than the loss of one's native land." --Euripides

The Yugoslav tragedy is a story about crimes committed with extraordinary boldness and deception, propagated by the politicians and by the media from both inside, and outside, the former Yugoslavia. This mixture, at the heart of the conflict, provoked the greatest humanitarian catastrophe in Europe since World War II. Written in memory to a lost homeland, to the people who died, and to the people who survived--especially the refugees, displaced internally or dispersed throughout the world--this book is a powerful commentary on war itself that provides insight into the roles that history, ethnic nationalism, and religious differences can play in modern conflict.

"A finely crafted historical dialectics that refuses to give into dualist explanations about 'the crimes' and eventually the death of the former Republic of Yugoslavia, as resulting from either 'bad' primordial ancient hatreds and ethnic nationalism, or from the lack of some civic nationalism in the form of 'good' but artificially constructed communities. The author follows Hannah Arendt in charting the history of a long century of 'statelessness, rightlessness and homelessness' in the region brought on by externally imposed balkanization. Every step of the way we are warned against those who preach the purity of ethnos over demos, or conversely, those who seek the bureaucratic disconnection of ethnos from demos as an ideal solution." --Greg M. Nielsen, Concordia University, author of The Norms of Answerability: Social Theory Between Bakhtin and Habermas

"The strength of Ljubisic's work is the seamless way it moves from one level to another, first analyzing events in the former Yugoslavia at the level of state politics, then shifting to a discussion of the international context, and finally, and most importantly, describing the impacts of these events at the individual level. In the process, she provides a comprehensive analysis of these confusing events and a much needed contribution to the literature. This is essential reading for anyone who wishes to understand the recent history of the Balkan region." --Neil Gerlach, Carelton University, author of The Genetic Imaginary: DNA in the Canadian Criminal Justice System

Table of Contents


CHAPTER ONE: Theories of the Nation and Nationalism

Nationalism and Multiculturalism

The Origins of the Nation

Primordial Versus Imagined Community


CHAPTER TWO: The National Question in Yugoslavia

The Yugoslav Idea

Viability of Yugoslavia and the Avoidable War


CHAPTER THREE: 'Divide and Rule' Politics of External Balkanization

The Old World Orders in the Balkans

Yugoslavia and the New World Order


CHAPTER FOUR: Ethnic Cleansing in Multinational Yugoslavia

'Purification' of Heterogeneous Territories

Multiethnic Resistance to the War


CHAPTER FIVE: Stateless Peoples

Totalitarian Solutions

Hundred Years of Statelessness

Rebuilding Home in Multicultural Montreal

Obstacles to Integration





DAVORKA LJUBISIC holds a BA from the University of Ljubljana, in Slovenia and an MA from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada. She was born in Zagreb, Croatia--at the time one of six constitutive republics of Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Unable to live according to the agenda of 'newprimitivism' and a politics of sorrow, in 1995 she immigrated to Canada.

224 pages, 6x9, index, bibliography, maps

Author(s): Davorka Ljubisic 



Table of contents:







Audience: Professional and scholarly

Subjects:  HIS010010-HISTORY / Europe / Eastern,POL061000-POLITICAL SCIENCE / Genocide & War Crimes,POL031000-POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Ideologies / Nationalism & Patriotism

Pages: 224 

Measurements: 9 in h x 6 in w 

A Politics Of Sorrow 

Publication information:


ISBN-13 paperback: 9781551642338

ISBN-13 Hardcover: 


Black Rose Books. , Canada