Collective Memory and an Interpretative Approach: The Struggle over Kosovo’s Independence as an Ideational Background for Contemporary Serbia’s Foreign Policy Choices

Original scientific paper
https://doi.org/10.20901/pm.56.3-4.09

Faris Kočan ; Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia

Fulltext: english, pdf (346 KB) pages 200-217 cite

Abstracts
Contrary to the common understanding that collective memory functions as a driver for fostering domestic peace, stability, a common national identity, and serves as a cornerstone for the realisation of specific national goals, our aim is to show how collective memory is understood as a constitutive element of foreign policy narratives and how memory can influence foreign policy choices (Anderson, 1983; Gillis, 199 4; Hobsbawm and Ranger, 1983; Bodnar, 1992; Schudson, 1993; Dian, 2017). Building on the work of Müller (2002), Bell (2010), Langenbacher and Shain (2010), Resende and Budryte (2014), Dian (2017) and Bachleitner (2018), we will argue that Serbia’s foreign policy choice in 2013 to sign the agreement with Kosovo is best understood with the help of an interpretative approach to foreign policy, as this issue de facto reflected the continuation of the role of sacrifice within Serbian collective memory. A narrative of victimisation was used to efficiently bridge the ‘guilt’ and tie it to the notion of great powers’ intervention. This article also examines the paradox of Serbia’s endeavours to hold on to Kosovo by looking into how the struggle over the nation’s past provides the fundamental ideational background for contemporary foreign policy choices.

Keywords
Collective Memory; Interpretative Approach; Foreign Policy Choices; Narratives; Myth

Hrčak ID: 235367

URI
https://hrcak.srce.hr/235367