Drawing on a recently published larger volume - Strategies of Symbolic Nation-Building in Southeast Europe – Vjeran Pavlakovic will analyze the nation and state building strategies of the Croatian elite since the country attained independence, following the Homeland War, 1991-1995. In his presentation, Pavlakovic will focus on the role of contested narratives and commemorative practices related to the wars of the 20th century in the political arena. The discussion will also address current attitudes and sentiments in Croatia towards the EU, following the country’s accession to the European Union in July, 2013.
Vjeran Pavlakovic is an assistant professor and Chair of the Department of Cultural Studies at the University of Rijeka, Croatia. He received his Ph.D. in History in 2005 from the University of Washington, and has published articles on Yugoslavs in the Spanish Civil War, the politics of memory and transitional justice in the former Yugoslavia. Recent publications include “Croatia, the ICTY, and General Gotovina as a Political Symbol,” Europe-Asia Studies, Vol. 62, No. 10 (December 2010), “Symbols and the Culture of Memory in Republika Srpska Krajina,” Nationalities Papers, Vol. 41, No. 6 (2013), and “Fulfilling the Thousand-Year-Old Dream: Strategies of Symbolic Nation-building in Croatia”, in Pal Kolsto, ed., Strategies of Symbolic Nation-building in South Eastern Europe (Farnham: Ashgate, 2014). He is also a co-editor of the book Confronting the Past: European Experiences (2012) and is a lead researcher of the project Strategies of Symbolic Nation Building in the Western Balkans.