Accepted Paper:

Envisioning place, change and the 'nation-state' on the peripheries of Europe  

Authors:

Natasa Gregoric Bon (Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy o Sciences and Arts)
Michaela Schäuble (University of Bern)

Paper short abstract:

This paper questions how processes of Europeanisation and the implications of European integration are envisioned from different local perspectives and how they shape localised notions of the 'nation-state' and regional belonging.

Paper long abstract:

In the introduction to the second sessions of this panel we will explore how processes of Europeanisation and the implications of European integration are envisioned from different local perspectives and how they shape localised notions of the 'nation-state' as well as regional belonging. Periods of political transformation in the post-socialist countries are often initiated or accompanied by re-naming and/or removal of symbols of the previous era, such as the re-naming of public places as well as dismantling of statues, memorials or walls (Verdery 1999). On the one hand such commemorative impositions on people's lived-in surroundings involve monuments, memorials and naming of public spaces. On the other hand they also entail previously silenced narratives from the socialist past and/or salient accounts of an ancient past. Drawing on extensive fieldwork in post-war rural Croatia and in Himarë/Himara in Southern Albania, we observe that the fall of socialist systems is marked by a general reversion to an ancient past in which the country's nationalist ideals are believed to be grounded. This reversion, however, can take various shapes and its influence on notions of regional belonging ranges from eager aspiration towards Europe to severe Euroscepticism. We will address the following questions: how do people locate and represent themselves in the view of geographically, politically and historically shifting frontiers? In what sense do geo-political maps shape people's practices and perceptions of 'their' place? What are the implications of supra-regional and supra-national changes for local discourses of nostalgia and (be)longing? What kind of power struggles are involved in the rethinking of notions of European-ness? What role do mobility and economic change play in these processes?

Panel W047
The new Europe: the politics of recognition, inclusion and exclusion