Radical Revisions of Collective Identity
$105.00 / €90.00 / £85.00
Publication date: 
452 pages

The last volume of the series presents 46 texts under the heading of “anti-modernism”. Formed in a dynamic relationship with modernism, from the 1880s to the 1940s, and especially during the interwar period, the anti-modernist ideological constructions of national identification had a considerable impact on the political culture of our region.

These texts rejected the linear vision of modernization as well as the liberal democratic institutional frameworks and searched instead for alternative models of politics. The Second World War and the communist takeover in most of these countries seemingly erased these ideological subcultures, who were often engaged in war-time pro-Nazi collaboration. However, their intellectual heritage proved more resilient and influenced the formation of “national communist” narratives in the 1960-70s, while after 1989 many of these references became actualized in the context of the post-communist search for ideological predecessors.

Discourses of Collective Identity in Central and Southeast Europe 1770–1945

Vol. I. Late Enlightenment

Vol. II. National Romanticism

Vol. III/1 Modernism
– The Creation of Nation States

Vol. III/2 Modernism
– Representations of National Culture 

Vol. IV. Anti-modernism 


Balázs Trencsényi and Sorin Antohi: Approaching Anti-Modernism

Chapter I. Integral Nationalism

Nikola Pašić: The Agreement of Serbs and Croats
Georg Schönerer: The Pan-Germans’ program for the future
Roman Dmowski: Thoughts of a modern Pole
Nicolae Iorga: On national culture
Aurel C. Popovici: At the crossroads of two worlds
Vladimir Čerina: In the city of cynics
Babanzâde Ahmed Naim: The question of nationalism in Islam
Jozef Tiso: The ideology of the Slovak People’s Party
Dezső Szabó: Tomorrow’s nationalism

Chapter II. The Crisis of the European Conscience

Karl Kraus: The last days of mankind
Mircea Eliade: Spiritual itinerary
Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar: On East and West
Leopold Andrian: Austria through the prism of the Idea
Mihály Babits: Mass and nation
Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz: Unkempt souls
Ivan Hadzhiyski: An optimistic theory of our people

Chapter III. In Search of a National Ontology

Ion Dragoumis: Hellenic civilization
Jaroslav Durych: The mission of the Czech state
France Veber: The ideal foundations of Slavic agrarianism
Anton Wildgans: Speech about Austria
Lucian Blaga: The Mioritic space
Vladimir Dvorniković: Epic man
Nikolaj Velimirović: Serbian nation as a servant of God
Nayden Sheytanov: The Bulgarian worldview
László Németh: In the minority

Chapter IV. Conservative Redefinitions of Tradition and Modernity

Hugo von Hofmannsthal: Writing as the spiritual space of the Nation
Gyula Szekfű: Three generations
Heinrich von Srbik: Austria in the Holy Roman Empire and in the German Confederation
Živojin Perić: Religion in the Serbian Civil Code
Milan Šufflay: The depths of national consciousness
Karel Kramář: In defense of Slavic politics
Petar Mutafchiev: Towards a philosophy of the Bulgarian history
Nichifor Crainic: The meaning of tradition
Ömer Lütfi Barkan: The legal status of the peasant class in the Ottoman Empire
Ladislav Hanus: Slovak statehood
Manifesto of the Slovenian National Defense Corps

Chapter V. The Anti-Modernist Revolution

 Ideological declaration of the Camp of Great Poland
Janko Janev: The spirit of the nation
Hüseyin Nihal Atsız: Turkish unity
Ioannis Metaxas: Speech on the occasion of the inauguration of public works
Emil Cioran: The transfiguration of Romania
Lazër Radi: Fascism and the Albanian Spirit
Štefan Polakovič: Slovak National Socialism
Emanuel Vajtauer: Czech myth
Svetislav Stefanović: The building of New Serbia as a peasant state
Edvard Kocbek: Comradeship

Basic secondary literature on identity discourses in Central and Southeast Europe

"The linguistic diversity of Europe (to stay within the limits of our continent) makes it culturally rich; yet, how hard-to-attain this cultural wealth sometimes is! This becomes particularly relevant when it comes to a content that is complicated and related to things of personal importance to people. And such is the case with problems of collective identity – particularly, national questions – that have been arousing strong emotion from time immemorial, attracting interest of numerous researchers in several last decades. While these problems cannot possibly be completely helped, they can be alleviated. Entering into international – that is, English-language – scientific circulation at least a selection (even if just samples) of original reference texts, not quite accessible due to the language barrier (among other factors), is one possible method. A task of this sort was undertaken a dozen years ago by a multinational team of young researchers who enjoyed institutional... more
"This intelligently chosen and extremely useful anthology provides insight into the way narratives of national identity were shaped in the region noted in the book's title. Items include such richly varied materials as anthems, songs, constitutions, manifestos, novels, correspondence, autobiographical materials, and contemporary historical narratives. Each item is accompanied by information on the author and context as well as bibliographical material. Summing up: Highly recommended. All levels and libraries."
"Discourses of Collective Identity bietet eine eindrucksvolle Lektüre und sei auch solchen Lesern empfohlen, die sich jenseits der ostmittel-, südosteuropäischen Area Studies für Nationalismusforschung interessieren. Für jene Regionalstudien bedeutet er einen gewichtigen Versuch, das Feld für eine kritische Ideengeschichte zurückzugewinnen, nachdem besonders für Südosteuropa ethnologisch-anthropologische, kultur- und sozialgeschichtliche Fragestellungen in letzter Zeit eine dominierende Stellung einnehmen."
"This volume, as the entire series, is a challenging collection of essential primary sources, accompanied by introductory essays and contextual analyses in the best senses of the term: their high level of scholarship demands the intelligent engagement of the reader throughout; it invites the educated elites of Eastern Europe to throw away the crutch of myth and half-truth when promoting or interrogating their unique national identity; it demands that scholars working in the Western humanities rethink widely-held assumptions about ‘Eastern Europe, what constitutes conservatism and progressiveness, and the idea of a ‘normal’ path to a liberal modernity. The introduction proposes a concept of ‘anti-modernism’ to categorize phenomena in Eastern Europe that may be difficult to grasp for those whose path to liberal democracy has not been blocked by decades of totalitarianism, since they evoke an atavistic rootedness (conservativism) but in a paradoxically futural spirit (modernism). As... more
"The editors hope to overcome two tendencies. The first tendency is to treat the 'process of creating national identity in Central and Southeast Europe' as something exceptional. The editors very much reject the idea of studying these cultures only in terms of themselves. However, they also reject any notion of explaining these cultures by comparing them to an ideal Western type: 'we sought to abandon the 'Platonic' image dividing the continent in two ontologically incompatible worlds: the transcendent world of the Real – the Occident, and its ontologically inferior imitation – the Orient, the 'Remainder of Europe'. The editors of this series very much succeed in their attempt to get readers to look across national boundaries when studying the region. The multitude of languages required by any scholar to pursue cross-cultural comparisons in the region is no doubt a discouragement to many. By taking the time to provide the documents in English... more