Title "Yugoslav Macedonia, 1943-1953: Building the Party, the State and the Nation". In State-Society Relations in Yugoslavia, 1945-1992 (ed. Melissa Bokovoy)
Author Troebst, Stefan
Publisher New York: St. Martins Press
Annotation Troebst, one of the most important experts in modern Macedonian history and historiography, analyzes the process of ‘making’ of a Macedonian nation as a combination of autochthonous claims ‘from below’ and of a state nation building ‘from above’. In this manner, he suggests a somewhat more nuanced version of the ‘top-down’ perspective, which acknowledges the existence of various political agendas and identity developments that made possible the success of the Macedonian national construction after 1944. Troebst considers that by the end of the Second World war, between the hammer of the harsh Bulgarian regime and the anvil of the Yugoslav Macedonian partisans, the majority of the Christian population of Vardar Macedonia opted against the Bulgarian national identity. Nevertheless, the forms of Macedonian ethnic/national emancipation remained rather marginal prior to the active involvement of the Yugoslav communist leadership into the local identity context. Troebst believes that the decade between 1943 and 1953 was critical for the nation building process, which necessitated also the application of reprisals towards all the pro-Bulgarian and/or autonomist elements. Troebst assumes that the ‘new’ nation faced a dramatic lack of historical legitimacy and of a proper national culture that had to be constructed in haste. According to him, during the first years of the Yugoslav republic, the Macedonians still did not have an important mythomoteur of ‘glorious past’ and emphasized the ‘bright future’ instead. Such observations however miss the political instrumentalization of powerful local myths like Ilinden that was initiated during the Second World war by the Macedonian partisans. (also relevant to sub-field 10)
Author of Annotation Tchavdar Marinov
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