Effects of Nationalism in Balkan States

Essay by muzzy1983University, Bachelor'sA-, May 2004

download word file, 6 pages 4.0

Until late nineteenth century, the Balkans had mostly been under powerful empires, living a somewhat symbiotic life. With the newly emerging ideas of nationalism brought about by the French Revolution, however, a wave of independence movements took place in Eastern Europe, eventually leading to the Balkan Wars of 1911-13, during which the newly formed Balkan countries turned against each other in an attempt to get a bigger share of Ottoman land. With the atrocities of the Balkan Wars and the clashes of different ethnic and religious groups in a tightly knit area, the seeds of ethnic cleansing and civil war had been sown. Given the history and current population distribution of the area, it is likely that the Balkans will want to disintegrate and form separate ethnic nations. The collapse of the social security state leads to micro-nationalities that give oppressed minorities the political breach to demand their own states in a need for cultural and historical revivalism.

The friction caused by the heterogenity of the area will lead to a series of conflicts inside currently existing boundaries, consequently leading to larger entities encouraging the development of smaller, autonomous regions. The fall of the Soviet Union and former Russia leaves Eastern Europe with a number of weak multinational states that feel the changing definitions of citizenship and nationalism. According to Ayse Kadioglu, 'there are different definitions to the concept of nationality and citizenship. In the post-modern era, religion, ethnicity, gender, etc. are becoming the new parameters of politics.'(personal commumication) Most Balkan countries gained their independence quite late in history, having been under the rule of the Otoman Empire and the Soviet Union. Betul Celik, in her lecture 'The Collapse of State Socialism' discusses that in the process of this nation making, most of the Eastern European countries flounder politically, at...