Review: "Elites, Narratives, and Nationalist Mobilization in the Former Yugoslavia: A Review Essay"
This article reviews four recent books on nationalist mobilization and ethnic violence in the former Yugoslavia. The focus on political elites as instigators of ethnic conflict is too narrow. A fully adequate causal explanation of ethnic violence requires closer attention to contextual factors, especially competing nationalist narratives as elaborated by religious and secular intellectual elites. Because nationalist myths, symbols, and narratives play a greater role in nationalist mobilization than in class or issue-specific politics, causal explanations of nationalist mobilization must satisfy Weber's requirement of "adequacy on the level of meaning." Theoretically driven generalizations have a limited explanatory potential in explaining specific instances of nationalist mobilization.
Vujacic, Veljko. 2007. "Elites, narratives, and nationalist Mobilization in the Former Yugoslavia: A Review Essay." Comparative Politics 40(1): 103-124.
City University of New York, Political Science Program