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Heroes at the margins: veterans, elites and the narrative of war

Sokolić, Ivor ORCID: 0000-0003-1450-8377 (2019) Heroes at the margins: veterans, elites and the narrative of war. In: Pavlaković, Vjeran and Pauković, Davor, (eds.) Framing the nation and collective identities: political rituals and cultural memory of the twentieth-century traumas in Croatia. Routledge, Abingdon, UK, pp. 143-159. ISBN 9781138504011

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This chapter investigates the interaction between the elite and the everyday war narratives related to the 1991-1995 conflict in Croatia. The analysis is based on transcripts from focus groups with war veterans and from speeches at the Knin and Vukovar commemorations, all held in 2014 and 2015. The war narrative, one of Croatian self-defense against a larger Serbian aggressor, and the manner of its reproduction at the elite level has significant effects on war veterans at the level of the everyday. The manner in which the top-down narrative is constructed keeps veterans in a heightened state of alertness, which makes them vulnerable to political manipulation. The war narrative is constructed in the present (as if the war was not over) through militarized language, which is interpreted as a continuous call to arms to defend the state against internal or external aggression. This has created a notion among war veterans that the war is not over and that they are marginalized in society. Political and religious leaders reproduce this notion, thereby constructing war veterans as problematic and diverting focus from their more practical needs.

Item Type: Book Section
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2019 The Author
Divisions: European Institute
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DR Balkan Peninsula
Date Deposited: 11 Jun 2019 13:33
Last Modified: 20 Jun 2024 08:00

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