Reinventing the Banat: Cosmopolitanism as a German Cultural Export

in German Politics and Society
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While Ulrich Beck and Natan Sznaider advocate cosmopolitanism as a way of freeing ourselves from grand narratives and putting the subject back on the agenda of research, this article illustrates that such uses of cosmopolitanism can create more problems than they propose to solve. In the case of the Romanian Banat, the recent revival of a cosmopolitan past based on the legacy of the German and other minorities has been intricately tied up with existing cultural hierarchies. Romania has therefore utilized this past as a way of showing its “western face.“ In the Serbian Banat, by contrast, such a development has not taken place due to the absence of a dialogue with the West. As such, this article demonstrates that cosmopolitanism has become normative in its use and has created problems for both Romanian and Serbian societies.