Since the time when Serbia was one of the six republics of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRJ), the country has been through very difficult cultural, political and ideological challenges and changes. While the dominant socialist ideology in former Yugoslavia, organized around Tito’s idea of “brotherhood and unity”, helped to pacify and diminish differences between various ethnic and religious groups, Serbian society during the period of the Milošević regime has deployed different ideological patterns characterized by national pride, territorial integrity, and the policy of “all Serbs in one country” politics. These ideas were brought together under the banner of securing national and cultural identity, as well as territorial integrity.
In dominant political and ideological discourses, contemporary Serbian society is most often characterized as a society “in transition”, colloquially referred to as “Serbia after democratic changes”. In such discourses, everything in Serbia in the past 15 years is “in transition”: the justice system, the economy and culture, but also our lives, our freedoms and our rights. Our recent historical trans experience generally refers to the path from communism and socialism to capitalism and liberal democracy, recognized as synonymous with European Union (EU) integration. At the same time, while “transiting” from one ideology to another, Serbian society is carrying the heavy burden of recent historical events: wars, ethnic cleansing, isolation and the collapse of all institutions, among others.
The course will be organized around four concepts:
a) community; b) friend/enemy; c) minorities and d) popular culture.
The aim of this course is to understand the transition from the dominant Yugoslav ideology to what came after in Serbia through the analysis of changes in the discourses that organize the four concepts above. Discussion will focus on Serbia as well as on comparisons with the other successor states of the former Yugoslavia.
- Background and introduction to the breakup of Yugoslavia
- Post-Milosevic Serbia
- Serbia in transition: community
- Serbia in transition: concepts of friend/enemy
- Serbia in transition: minorities
- Serbia in transition: popular culture