- Taking a stand in times of violent societal changes: Belgrade and Zagreb feminists’ positionings on the (post-)Yugoslav wars and each other (1991-2000)
- Award date
- 5 March 2014
- Number of pages
- Document type
- PhD thesis
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
This dissertation explores the positionings (discourses and activities) of the Belgrade and Zagreb feminists vis-à-vis the (post-)Yugoslav wars and one another between 1991 and 2000. Primarily applying a Bourdieuian framework and based on a comprehensive literature review, extensive semi-structured qualitative interviews, and a thorough examination of organisational documents and printed media articles, this socio-historical analysis attends to a number of biases, lacunae and incorrect or insufficiently precise (recurring) information in the scholarship. Thereby, this thesis enriches the existing knowledge on the war-related feminist activism in Belgrade and Zagreb in the 1990s, and raises pressing epistemological questions about this knowledge.
In short, I challenge the common suggestion that the outbreak of the war violence in 1991 led to the same reorganisation of the Belgrade and Zagreb feminist fields: The activists in each city, who had up until then worked together without tensions, divided into antinationalists and nationalists and began clashing with each other because of the different war-related positionings. I show that there were significant differences between Belgrade and Zagreb in the contents of those positionings and in the intra-feminist dynamics, due to which these two cities should not be considered interchangeable locations. Furthermore, I demonstrate that the designations ‘antinationalist’ and ‘nationalist’ were not completely value-free, objective descriptions. They were instead an essential part of the local and international efforts to stop the (sexual) war violence, and of the struggle for legitimacy among the feminists in each city - endeavours in which many Western (feminist) academics, activists, and funders were involved, too.
- Research conducted at: Universiteit van Amsterdam
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