Revisiting Yugoslavia in the shadow of the present: Continuities and discontinuities

Yugoslavia existed for 70 years, survived many existential crises, and played a considerable role in the history of the 20th century. Now it no longer exists and several independent states have emerged. But seeing the end of Yugoslavia as a permanent rupture means forgetting that countries are more than their physical and institutional setup. They are ideas, experiences, cultures and populations. For this reason, it is worth asking what continuities and discontinuities exist between Yugoslavia and the successor states. What are the consequences of Yugoslavia’s existence? What vestiges and legacies did it leave behind? What role does its once existence play or not play in terms of contemporary developments? And, more generally, we may ask: What happens when countries disappear (if they ever do)?

The purpose of this symposium is to use the analytical framework of continuities and discontinuities of Yugoslavia to understand the contemporary challenges and developments in the successor states. We thereby look at four main areas: Politics, Society, International Relations, and Economics. Our goal is to develop an understanding of how the past affects the present.