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Forging the Nation‐centric World: Imperial Rule and the Homogenisation of Discontent in Bosnia and Herzegovina (1878–1918)

Abstract : Historical sociologists have questioned the idea that nationalism and imperialism are mutually exclusive phenomena. In contrast to traditional historiography that depicted empires as 'the prison houses of nations' contemporary scholarship emphasises the structural and ideological ambiguities that characterised the 19th century European imperial projects. Hence instead of 'popular longings' for national independence the focus has shifted to the experiences of 'national indifference'. In this paper I aim to go beyond this dichotomy by questioning the role of (nationalist) agency in the collapse of imperial order. Drawing on the primary archival research I zoom in on the case of Bosnia and Herzegovina under the Austro-Hungarian rule (1878-1918). The paper contests the view that the imperial state was severely undermined by the presence of strong nationalisms. I also challenge the notion that the majority of Bosnian population remained 'nationally indifferent' during this period. Instead, I argue that understanding the character of the Austro-Hungarian rule is a much better predictor of social change that took place in this period. Rather than stifling supposedly vibrant nationalisms or operating amidst widespread national indifference the imperial state played a decisive role in forging the nation-centric world through its inadvertent homogenisation of discontent.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, November 30, 2021 - 10:00:40 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, September 28, 2022 - 6:00:31 AM
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Siniša Malešević. Forging the Nation‐centric World: Imperial Rule and the Homogenisation of Discontent in Bosnia and Herzegovina (1878–1918). Journal of Historical Sociology, In press, ⟨10.1002/johs.12350⟩. ⟨hal-03456507⟩



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