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NORGLOBAL-Norge - Global partner

Strategies of symbolic nation-building in West Balkan states: intents and results, translations of English texts into local languages

Tildelt: kr 91 999

?Nation-building? as defined in this project consists of two elements. 1. Deliberate homogenization of the population?s political-cultural identity; and 2. Policies to link this identity to the state. The project concentrates on symbolic nation-building, meaning state strategies for the manufacture and manipulation of cultural symbols intended to create a sense of nationhood in a population. We want to see if these strategies resonate in the population. We single out four parameters of identity controversies: religious culture, ethnic culture, historical imagination, and geographical imagination. To determine the success and failure of the nation-building strategies we measure the correspondence between the idea of nationhood that is propounded by the state leaders and the collective self-understanding of the population. As a method to operationalise this criterion we will use Albert Hirschman?s trichotomy of "exit, voice and loyalty" as a template. We will commission large-N opinion surveys in all West Balkan countries ? 1500 respondents in each state -- to establish to what degree various groups in the population support the nation idea propounded by the state leaders. Finally, we will ask about the preconditions for a high/low degree of correspondence between a certain nation-building program and societal attitudes. Data on these background factors will be taken from various population statistics and aggregated indices compiled by other researchers, and our survey data will be measured against them. Regression analysis may tell us whether they have a significant impact or not. Among such background factors we will concentrate on the following: state capacity; ethnic, religious, linguistic, and economic heterogeneity in the population; past history of violence, and level of democracy. The ramifications of nation-building strategies for the stability and democratic development in emerging but volatile states are obvious.


NORGLOBAL-Norge - Global partner