Imagined Empires

Constructing Ethnic Nationalism in Eastern and Southeastern Europe
$75.00 / €65.00 / £60.00
Publication date: 
April 2021, 300 pages, 3 figures

The Balkans offer classic examples of how empires imagine they can transform themselves into national states (Ottomanism) and how nation-states project themselves into future empires (as with the Greek “Great Idea” and the Serbian “Načertaniye”). By examining the interaction between these two aspirations this volume sheds light on the ideological prerequisites for the emergence of Balkan nationalisms.

With a balance between historical and literary contributions, the focus is on the ideological hybridity of the new national identities and on the effects of “imperial nationalisms” on the emerging Balkan nationalisms. The authors of the twelve essays reveal the relation between empire and nation-state, proceeding from the observation that many of the new nation-states acquired some imperial features and behaved as empires. This original and stimulating approach reveals the imperialistic nature of so-called ethnic or cultural nationalism.


Part I: The Ottoman Empires

1. Prelates Weeping on Demand, Prelates Nationalists, Prelates Janissaries: Instrumentalist Discourses and Power Entanglements of the Christian Orthodox Clerical Elites in the Late Ottoman Empire
Dimitris Stamatopoulos

2. Hellenizing the Empire through Historiography: Pavlos Karolidis and Greek Historical Writing in the Late Ottoman Empire
Fujinami Nobuyoshi

3. International Crisis and Empire: Muslim and Jewish Solidarity with the Ottoman Imperial Ideal in the Greek-Ottoman War of 1897
Ariadni Moutafidou

Part II: The Balkan Empires

4. Imaging Empire and the Collective Memory in Serbia, 1908–1914
Bogdan Trifunović

5. An Attractive Enemy: The Conquest of Constantinople in Bulgarian Imagery
Nikolay Aretov

6. “Turkish Illyrians” or Bulgarians/Serbs? Ottoman South Slavs within the Croatian and Bulgarian National Models (1830s–1840s)
Naoum Kaytchev

Part III: Eastern Slavic Empires

7. Russia in Serbian and Bulgarian National Mythologies until the First World War
Magdalena Żakowska

8. The Russian View on Balkan Nationalism (1878–1914)
Lora Gerd

9. How to build a Holy City: “New Romes” and “New Jerusalems” in the 16th–18th Century Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth
Liliya Berezhnaya

Part IV: Ottoman Utopias and Dystopias

10. Balkan Nationalisms against the Oriental Empire: Balkan National Poetry and the Disavowal of a Literary System
Maria Kalanztopoulou

11. Differing Perceptions of Ottoman Rule in the Bulgarian Ethnic Narrative of the Revival
Eleonora Naxidou

12. Against the Imperial Past: The Perception of the Turk and Greek “Enemy” in the Albanian National Identity-building Process
Konstantinos Giakoumis