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Women and War in the Balkans

A Comparative Review Essay

Maria Bucur

, Women and Yugoslav Partisans: A History of World War II Resistance , Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015, 287 pp., 11 illustrations, GBP 24.99 (paperback), ISBN: 978-1-31611-862-7. We have come a long way since the days when talking about the

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Rory Conces

Political realism remains a powerful theoretical framework for thinking about international relations, including the war on terrorism. For Morgenthau and other realists, foreign policy is a matter of national interest defined in terms of power. Some writers view this tenet as weakening, if not severing, realism's link with morality. I take up the contrary view that morality is embedded in realist thought, as well as the possibility of realism being thinly and thickly moralised depending on the moral psychology of the agents. I argue that a prima facie case can be made within a thinly moralised realism for a relatively weak ally like Bosnia to enter the war on terrorism. An inflationary model of morality, however, explains how the moral horror of genocide in an ally's past may lead to a thickened moralised realism such that allied policy-makers question their country's entry into the war.

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Women, Gender and Conflict

Reflecting upon the Gendered Harms of War

Kirsten Campbell

Vesna Nikolić-Ristanović, ed., Women, Violence and War: Wartime Victimization of Refugees in the Balkans, trans. Borislav Radović, Budapest and New York: Central European University Press, 2000, 300 pp., £13.95 (pb), ISBN 978-963-9116-60-3.

Vesna Nikolić-Ristanović, ed., Zene, nasilje i rat (Women, violence, and war), Belgrade: Institut za kriminološka i sociološka istraživanja, 1995, 207 pp., €10.00 (pb), no ISBN mentioned.

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Adriana Zaharijević, Kristen Ghodsee, Efi Kanner, Árpád von Klimó, Matthew Stibbe, Tatiana Zhurzhenko, Žarka Svirčev, Agata Ignaciuk, Sophia Kuhnle, Ana Miškovska Kajevska, Chiara Bonfiglioli, Marina Hughson, Sanja Petrović Todosijević, Enriketa Papa-Pandelejmoni, Stanislava Barać, Ayşe Durakbaşa, Selin Çağatay, and Agnieszka Mrozik

.e., Greek cultural and/or political hegemony in the Balkans and Asia Minor), which required the spread of Greek culture in the Orthodox populations of these regions. Women's education was such a novelty for Greek society in this period that it encountered

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Maria Bucur, Alexandra Ghit, Ayşe Durakbaşa, Ivana Pantelić, Rochelle Goldberg Ruthchild, Elizabeth A. Wood, Anna Müller, Galina Goncharova, Zorana Antonijević, Katarzyna Sierakowska, Andrea Feldman, Maria Kokkinou, Alexandra Zavos, Marija M. Bulatović, Siobhán Hearne, and Rayna Gavrilova

: Yale University Press, 2006). Chiara Bonfiglioli, Women and Industry in the Balkans: The Rise and Fall of the Yugoslav Textile Sector , London: I. B. Tauris, 2020, 232 pp., £85 (hardback), ISBN: 978-1-78533-598-3. Book review by Alexandra

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An Amazon Warrior, a Chaste Maiden or a Social Man?

Early Ethnographic Accounts of the Balkan Man-Woman

Aleksandra Djajić Horváth

This article looks into the representations of the figure of the Balkan man-woman in missionary and travel accounts from the turn of the twentieth century. I read these early proto-ethnographic texts, both written and visual, dialogically – as points of intersection between observers and the observed, with the aim of addressing the question of how professional transgressors – travellers and missionaries – perceived and culturally ‘translated’ female gender-transgressors who were enjoying the role and status of social men in northern Albanian and Montenegrin societies, and whose gender identity was heavily based on their daily performance of male chores and on the possession of male privileges, such as smoking, socialising with men and wearing arms.

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Gendering Balkanisms

Gender, Culture, and Class in Nineteenth-Century Women's Travelogues in the Balkans

Marina Matešić

This article links nineteenth-century travelogues about the Balkans written by European women travelers—Dora d'Istria, Maria Karlova, Emily Strangford, and Paulina Irby and Georgina Mackenzie—both to a broader historical discourse called Balkanism and to the socio-historical contexts of the authors themselves. It examines the ways in which these texts adopted existing hegemonic dichotomies of Balkanism concerning culture, ethnicity/religion, and gender and whether they set new paths for Balkanist discourse. Written during the time of anti-Ottoman uprisings and nation-building movements, the travelogues expressed diverse humanitarian, Christian, feminist, anti-imperial/Turkish and other agendas and discussed the crucial role of (Balkan) women in it. Through a particular focus on domestic life and the lives of women, these women travelers also spoke of their own position in society, bringing to light their struggle for equality in traveling, writing, and participating in broader political and social life, and in that way disturbed the male-centered Balkanist discourse.

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Gender and Culture in the Turkish Province

The Observations of a Russian Woman Traveler (1868)

Evguenia Davidova

This article examines Maria F. Karlova's relatively unknown travelogue about her visit to Ottoman Macedonia and Albania in 1868. She was a sister of the prominent Slavist scholar and diplomat Alexander F. Gil'ferding and traveled with him. She appears to be the only known Russian female traveler to publish a travelogue about the Ottoman Balkans until the late 1870s. Karlova constructs her gender identity through elite lenses against three principal backdrops: the Turkish province, Europe, and Russia. She offers an example of how gender and class can be inserted into discourses about Russian identity and Russia's place in Europe's symbolic map of modernity. She also introduces gender issues into debates about Russia's political interests and Slavophile views about the Balkans. This article argues that Karlova asserts her sense of belonging to European elite culture in order to raise the issue of women's emancipation. The travelogue provides insights into the process of gender construction in Russia. The intertwined themes of gender, class, and national identity are compared to contemporaneous Victorian women's travelogues.

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Orlin Sabev, Georgeta Nazarska, Ivan Chorvát, Maria Rentetzi, Tatyana Stoicheva, Jasmina Lukić, Alina Haliliuc, Raili Põldsaar, Alon Rachamimov, Sabina Žnidaršič, Grażyna Szelagowska, and Oksana Kis

Elif Ekin Aksit, Kızların Sessizlig ̆i. Kız Enstitülerinin Uzun Tarihi (The silence of girls: The long history of female institutes)

Tzvetana Boncheva, Brak I semejstvo pri balgarite katolitsi ot Plovdivsko prez parvata polovina na XX vek (Marriage and family life of the Bulgarian Catholics from the Plovdiv region during the first half of the twentieth century)

Zora Bútorová et al, She and He in Slovakia: Gender and Age in the Period of Transition

Christine von Oertzen, The Pleasure of a Surplus Income: Part-Time Work, Gender Politics, and Social Change in West Germany, 1955–1969

Karl Kaser, Patriarchy after Patriarchy: Gender Relations in Turkey and in the Balkans, 1500–2000

Alaine Polcz, One Woman in the War. Hungary 1944–1945

Zoltán Rostás and Theodora-Eliza Va ̆ca ̆rescu, eds., Cealalta ̆ juma ̆tate a istoriei. Femei povestind (The other half of history: Women telling their stories)

Suzanne Stiver Lie, Lynda Malik, Ilvi Jõe-Cannon and Rutt Hinrikus, eds., Carrying Linda’s Stones: An Anthology of Estonian Women’s Life Stories

Laurie S. Stoff, They Fought for the Motherland: Russia’s Women Soldiers in World War I and the Revolution

Nina Vodopivec, Labirinti postsocializma (The labyrinths of post-socialism)

Anna Zarnowska, Workers, Women, and Social Change in Poland, 1870–1939

Tatyana Zhurzhenko, Gendernyye rynki Ukrainy: politicheskaya ekomomiya natsionalnogo stroitelstva (The gendered markets of Ukraine: The political economy of nation building)

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Gendering Grief

Lamenting and Photographing the Dead in Serbia, 1914–1941

Melissa Bokovoy

This article is part of a larger research project on the political, cultural, and social implications of interwar Yugoslavia’s remembrance and mourning of its war dead. Es- chewing a focus on state-centered commemorative practices, this article focuses on two types of sources, laments of Serbian women and photographs by Serbian military photographers, as entry points into understanding the private, cultural, and religious arenas of Serbian wartime and interwar remembrances. Drawing on research examining the political uses of lament and grief, the article considers the role Serbian women played in controlling and directing the “passion of grief and anger” within their communities as they remembered the dead. The photographic evidence reveals that traditional death rituals and laments were performed and that these rituals were significant socio-political spaces where women, families, and communities of soldiers advanced claims for recognition of their wartime experiences and memories. However, the photographs themselves are sites of memory and this article examines how military photographers, acting on behalf of the state, sought to control the representation of grief and by doing so politicized and secularized the way grief was expressed. Placing these sources side by side illustrates the intermingling of forms of mourning and remembrance that existed not only in the Balkans, but also in many other communities throughout Europe, especially among its rural inhabitants.