Both the ideals of the European Union (EU) and the EU's recent political difficulties have attracted comparison with the Habsburg empire. In recent years, some of those making comparison have turned to the Austrian Jewish novelists, Stefan Zweig and Joseph Roth, who were crucial to the imaginative emergence of the Habsburg Myth. This paper analyses their writings and those of Robert Musil and Gregor von Rezzori in relation to the Habsburg Myth as a story about European unity, about Austria-Hungary as a supranational polity and about Austria-Hungary's self-proclaimed providential purpose in European affairs. It explores the dissonance between the Habsburg Myth and the EU's territorial composition and argues that the Habsburg Myth is, nonetheless, revealing about the EU's internal hierarchies and its geopolitical difficulties in relation to Russia.
How should we make sense of Europe's current malaise? Focused on the great recession, the European Union (EU)'s architecture, or diverging national interests, the…
How should we make sense of Europe's current malaise? Focused on the great recession, the European Union (EU)'s architecture, or diverging national interests, the literature offers useful economic, institutional, and political explanations. It is our contention that, however diverse, these works share one important limitation: a tendency to focus on rather immediate causes and consequences and not to step back with historical or comparative perspectives to gain a “longer” view of the dynamics at work. In this article, we begin by examining parallels between the EU's current conditions and the Austrian-Hungarian Empire. Then, introducing the articles contained in this special issue, we raise research questions pertaining to long-term historical, social, cultural, economic, and political factors. Are the current challenges unprecedented or do they have roots or connections to past events and developments? Is there a European trajectory into which we can contextualize current events? Are there bright spots, and what do they suggest about Europe's present and future? To engage in such questions, the papers leverage the insights of historical and comparative sociology, as well as comparative politics. In so doing, they offer analyses that see the EU as an instance of state formation. They propose that a key dimension of tension and possible resolution is the classic problem of sovereignty. They grapple with the question of identity and institutions, exploring in that context the extent and limit of citizens' support for more Europe. And they delve into the nature of the nationalist and populist sentiments within and across European countries.
The purpose of this paper is to focus on Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, giving a general overview of its urban context through five historical periods…
The purpose of this paper is to focus on Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, giving a general overview of its urban context through five historical periods, as part of a research study on its modernist architectural heritage.
Designed to mimic the theatrical process which unfolds through acts and intervals, the paper combines literary, architectural, journalistic and historical sources, to sketch the key periods which characterise the city’s urban morphology.
The sequence of acts and intervals points to the dramatic historic inter-change of continuities and ruptures, in which the ruptures have often been less studied and understood. This explains the frequent conceptualising of Sarajevo through East–West binary, which synthesises it as a provincial capital from Ottoman and later Habsburg rule, a regional centre within two Yugoslav states and a capital city of a young state of Bosnia and Herzegovina. This highlights the need to study the ruptures as clues to the flow of continuities, in which the care and after care for built environment provide a field of evidence and possibilities for diverse perspectives of examination.
Corroborated by secondary sources, the paper examines the accounts of urban heritage destruction in the 1990s war, as recorded by a writer, an architect and a journalist, and outlines a pattern of unbroken inter-relations between urban and architectural space (tangible) and sense and identity of place (intangible).
This discourse is relevant to the current situation where the city of Sarajevo expands again, in the complexity of a post-conflict society.
Challenged by the political divisions and the laissez-faire economy, the public mood and interest is under-represented and has many conflicting voices.
Inspired by Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities and the accounts from the siege of Sarajevo in the 1990s, this conceptual paper contributes to the formulation of a cross-disciplinary discursive prism through which the fragments of the city and its periods come together or apart, adding, subtracting and changing layers of meaning of the physical space.
If moments of historical rupture create spaces for social change, what emerges to fill those gaps? This article approaches this question by exploring the creation of the…
If moments of historical rupture create spaces for social change, what emerges to fill those gaps? This article approaches this question by exploring the creation of the “domestic” in 17th century Europe and Asia following the decline of the Spanish Habsburgs in the West and the Ming Dynasty in the East. Two events will serve as lenses through which that process will be explored. The first case centers on arguments for the legitimacy of the 1603 Dutch seizure of a Portuguese carrack in what would serve as the basis for Hugo Grotius’s defense of the free seas. The second debate focuses on the appropriate mourning ritual following the 1659 death of King Hyojong, the 17th ruler in Korea’s Choson dynasty. I argue that, in the process of responding to the crises they faced in their environments, social elites in both cases defined and articulated a conception of themselves as sovereign societies, creating a political space and corporate identity distinct from the extant institutional apparatus of the state and cultural framework of the nation.
The traditional postcolonial focus on the modern and the European, and pre-modern and non-European empires has marginalized the study of empires like the Ottoman Empire…
The traditional postcolonial focus on the modern and the European, and pre-modern and non-European empires has marginalized the study of empires like the Ottoman Empire whose temporal reign traversed the modern and pre-modern eras, and its geographical land mass covered parts of Eastern Europe, the Balkans, Asia Minor, the Arabian Peninsula, and North Africa. Here, I first place the three postcolonial corollaries of the prioritization of contemporary inequality, the determination of its historical origins, and the target of its eventual elimination in conversation with the Ottoman Empire. I then discuss and articulate the two ensuing criticisms concerning the role of Islam and the fluidity of identities in states and societies. I argue that epistemologically, postcolonial studies criticize the European representations of Islam, but do not take the next step of generating alternate knowledge by engaging in empirical studies of Islamic empires like the Ottoman Empire. Ontologically, postcolonial studies draw strict official and unofficial lines between the European colonizer and the non-European colonized, yet such a clear-cut divide does not hold in the case of the Ottoman Empire where the lines were much more nuanced and identities much more fluid. Still, I argue that contemporary studies on the Ottoman Empire productively intersect with the postcolonial approach in three research areas: the exploration of the agency of imperial subjects; the deconstruction of the imperial center; and the articulation of bases of imperial domination other than the conventional European “rule of colonial difference” strictly predicated on race. I conclude with a call for an analysis of Ottoman postcoloniality in comparison to others such as the German, Austro-Hungarian, Russian, Persian, Chinese, Mughal, and Japanese that negotiated modernity in a similar manner with the explicit intent to generate knowledge not influenced by the Western European historical experience.
This paper examines the constitution and transformation of the political regime in the Ottoman Empire in the latter half of the 19th and early 20th century. It argues that…
This paper examines the constitution and transformation of the political regime in the Ottoman Empire in the latter half of the 19th and early 20th century. It argues that our understanding of the transitional stages between the end of empires and the formation of new states continues to be analytically underdeveloped, particularly in the context of Eastern/Southeastern Europe. Drawing on recent scholarship, which challenges the existing dichotomous empire-to-nation model and suggests furthering studies on the transition period, the paper offers a close-up look at the role of transnational ideologies played during the transition from empire-to-nation. It highlights the existence of a rather complex interplay between national and transnational ideologies. It argues that understanding the role of transnational ideologies allows us to attribute more agency to the political actors of the late Ottoman era, helping model the changes that happened in the state's legitimacy, the ideological transformations, and the political mobilization of the elites in this period. Focusing on the Ottoman case, it sheds insights on both Habsburg and Russian Empires, which exhibited similar characteristics at that time. It also illustrates the role that transnational ideologies played in all three cases.
Literature on European and national identities displays a tension between occasional observations of an emerging ‘banal Europeanism’ (Cram, 2009) and a dominant strand…
Literature on European and national identities displays a tension between occasional observations of an emerging ‘banal Europeanism’ (Cram, 2009) and a dominant strand (e.g. Guibernau, 2007; Toplak & Šumi, 2012) that questions the viability of European identifications vis-à-vis historically entrenched nationalisms, particularly in the context of the debt crisis and the resulting (re)nationalization of European politics. This chapter builds on recent work on Austrian European Union (EU) scepticism and its contestation (Karner, 2013) to examine instances – in diverse media coverage, readers’ letters to the editor of Austria’s most widely read newspaper, internet platforms, political essays and party political positions – of national identity negotiations in relation to the EU and as articulated in the context of successive European crises and the most recent elections to the European Parliament. The qualitative, thematic analysis of these wide-ranging materials developed here draws on two key concepts in critical discourse analysis, the notions of deixis (Billig, 1995) or ‘rhetorical pointing’ and of the topos or ‘structure of argument’ (e.g. Reisigl & Wodak, 2001), which are complemented by a third theoretical tool, namely the anthropological concept of ‘grammars of identity’ (Baumann & Gingrich, 2004). The resulting discussion reveals the uneasy coexistence of (critical) Europeanisms and various national reassertions in Austria’s public sphere and their respective discursive features. Further, the theoretical approaches synthesized cast light on internal diversities within political positions that are often too monolithicly classified as being ‘simply’ pro- or anti-European respectively. Instead, the analysis presented here reveals a spectrum of (at least five) competing positions.