Making Yugoslavs: Identity in King Aleksandar's Yugoslavia

By Christian Axboe Nielsen

© 2014

When Yugoslavia was created in 1918, the new state was a patchwork of Serbs, Croats, Slovenes, and other ethnic groups. It still was in January 1929, when King Aleksandar suspended the Yugoslav constitution and began an ambitious program to impose a new Yugoslav national identity on his subjects. By the time Aleksandar was killed by an assassin’s bullet five years later, he not only had failed to create a unified Yugoslav nation but his dictatorship had also contributed to an increase in interethnic tensions.

In Making Yugoslavs, Christian Axboe Nielsen uses extensive archival research to explain the failure of the dictatorship’s program of forced nationalization. Focusing on how ordinary Yugoslavs responded to Aleksandar’s nationalization project, the book illuminates an often-ignored era of Yugoslav history whose lessons remain relevant not just for the study of Balkan history but for many multiethnic societies today.

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Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 400 pages
  • Illustrations: 1
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 1.0in x 9.0in
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Quick Overview

Christian Axboe Nielsen uses extensive archival research to explain the failure of King Aleksandar’s dictatorship’s program of forced nationalization in the interwar era.

Making Yugoslavs: Identity in King Aleksandar's Yugoslavia

By Christian Axboe Nielsen

© 2014

When Yugoslavia was created in 1918, the new state was a patchwork of Serbs, Croats, Slovenes, and other ethnic groups. It still was in January 1929, when King Aleksandar suspended the Yugoslav constitution and began an ambitious program to impose a new Yugoslav national identity on his subjects. By the time Aleksandar was killed by an assassin’s bullet five years later, he not only had failed to create a unified Yugoslav nation but his dictatorship had also contributed to an increase in interethnic tensions.

In Making Yugoslavs, Christian Axboe Nielsen uses extensive archival research to explain the failure of the dictatorship’s program of forced nationalization. Focusing on how ordinary Yugoslavs responded to Aleksandar’s nationalization project, the book illuminates an often-ignored era of Yugoslav history whose lessons remain relevant not just for the study of Balkan history but for many multiethnic societies today.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 400 pages
  • Illustrations: 1
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 1.0in x 9.0in
  • Reviews

    ‘Nielsen’s fine book has significantly advanced the discussion of the interwar state of Yugoslav in the twentieth century and of authoritarian politics throughout the region.’


    John Paul Newman
    Slavonic and East European Review vol 94:01:2016

    ‘Making Yugoslavia is compelling read for specialists on Yugoslavia, interwar Europe, and national identity.’


    Nick Miller
    The Historian vol 78:04:2016

    ‘Yugoslav between the two world wars is a relatively under-researched topic, so this is an excellent addition to the scholarly literature.’


    R.M. Hayden
    Choice Magazine vol 52:09:2015

    “Clear, coherent, and lively, Making Yugoslavs is blazing a path that I sincerely hope that other historians will follow. I was impressed with the wealth of archival sources – from most regions of the country – that the author consulted.”


    Gregor Kranjc, Department of History, Brock University

    “By merit of its extensive research, compelling narrative, and astute analysis, Christian A. Nielsen’s Making Yugoslavs makes an original contribution to our understanding of interwar Yugoslavia and the legacies of this period for the country’s subsequent evolution and eventual demise. Its examination of the dynamics that impeded nation- and state-building in Yugoslavia will make the book of interest not only to students of identity and nationalism but also to those interested in comparative politics and the trend towards authoritarian politics in interwar Europe. Making Yugoslavs is likely to become a standard work on this period of Yugoslavia’s troubled history.”


    Mark Biondich, Institute of European, Russian and Eurasian Studies, Carleton University
  • Author Information

    Christian Axboe Nielsen is an associate professor in the Department of Culture and Society at Aarhus University.
  • Table of contents

    Introduction

    Part I: The Collapse of Constitutional Monarchy In Yugoslavia

    1. National Ideology and the Formation of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes

    2. “A Tribal and Parliamentary Dictatorship”: The 1920s in the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes

    Part II: The Advent of the Alexandrine Dictatorship

    3. Cutting the Gordian Knot: The Dictatorship’s First Year

    Part III: Making Modern Yugoslavs out of “Tribalists”

    4. Nationalist Workers of Yugoslavia, Unite!: Moulding Yugoslavs

    5. Policing Yugoslavism: Surveillance, Denunciations, and Ideology in Daily Life

    Part IV: The Assassination of Aleksandar and the Strange Afterlife of His Dictatorship

    6. The Return of “Democracy”

    7. Epilogue and Conclusion: “Preserve My Yugoslavia”: The Struggle Surrounding the Alexandrine Legacy

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