Accepted paper:

The instrumentalization of masculine identity of Montenegrin tradition in the debates about NATO membership

Author:

Branko Banovic (University of Donja Gorica (Montenegro) and The Regional Museum Pljevlja (Montenegro))

Paper short abstract:

By showing that hegemonic views of Montenegrin masculinity reflect a particular view of the nation, which in turn feeds into the recent debate over NATO membership, I want to reveal a masculine (warlike) aspect of Montenegrin identity and its instrumentaization within debates over NATO membership.

Paper long abstract:

The basic premise is that narratives regarding integration into NATO have a linear organization: they layer events, mostly those from the past, into a linear sequence of statements. In this case, that means that the warrior tradition has produced a Montenegrin ideal of masculinity with the characteristics of the warrior and soldier (and not, for example, the entrepreneur). With that in mind, the connection between Montenegro's warrior tradition and the debates taking place in the Montenegrin public regarding the issue of membership into NATO become clear because in the Montenegrin public NATO remains a predominantly military alliance. Thus it is understandable that the opposing sides in the debate utilize the tradition of a warrior people as a powerful weapon in their respective arguments. I will pay particular attention to narratives that bring together the masculine patriarchal-warrior identity of the Montenegrin tradition, with the socially current debates about joining NATO. In that way, the "story" about the hyper-masculine past, in modified form and with new elements, is perpetuated into the present while acquiring the capacity for further development in the future, and particularly for instrumentalization in various political projects. The warrior masculine tradition is most often insturmentalized as part of defense arguments of the opposing sides and the main argument for both is the break with war casualties of past. I want also to reveal a feature of the hegemonic Montenegrin value system which sheds light on the politics of exclusion (e.g. of homosexuals) and domestic discourses about nationhood.

panel P022
Gender, far-right, and political radicalization