Konstantin V. Nikiforov

Institute for Slavic and Balkan Studies

Russian Academy of Sciences


Modernization Mixed with nationalism

Abstract: This essay reflects on a particular manner in which modernisation have taken place in the Balkans in modern history, from the 1878 Berlin Congress onwards. The Balkan countries faced twofold difficulties in their development: they had to overcome their backwardness stemming from the centuries of the Ottoman yoke and catch up with modern Western Europe, and resolve their numerous mutual territorial and political disputes. The latter task was especially difficult due to the constant interference in Balkan affairs on the part of Great Powers. This interference further aggravated nationalistic tensions between the Balkan states. The peculiar mixture of modernisation efforts and nationalism remains to this day when the entire region strives to join the European Union.

Keywords: modernisation, nationalism, Balkans, Serbia, Yugoslavia, Europ