"Der Balkan" in der Krone: Austria between "frontier Orientalism" and amnesiac nationalism

Karner, Christian (2020) "Der Balkan" in der Krone: Austria between "frontier Orientalism" and amnesiac nationalism. Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies . ISSN 1369-801X

Full content URL: https://doi.org/10.1080/1369801X.2020.1718541

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"Der Balkan" in der Krone: Austria between "frontier Orientalism" and amnesiac nationalism
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Abstract

This article traces the “silent inscription” of (former) colonial relations in the European integration project to their re-inflection in an EU-sceptical medium. To do so, this contribution draws on a corpus of data comprising news-coverage, commentaries and readers’ letters published in Austria’s largest newspaper, the Kronen Zeitung, whose reach, influence and leanings are well-known. The analysis considers the Krone’s representations of, and discursive references to, “the Balkans” during the crises-littered period between 2009 and 2017. For analytical purposes this discussion focuses on a sub-sample of invocations of “the Balkans” in the Krone, which have appeared with growing frequency since 2015. Conceptually, the discourse-analytical notion of the topos, or argumentative structure, and anthropological literature on “identity grammars” inform the analysis. The discussion reveals continuities with Austria’s historically long-established representational regimes of South-Eastern Europe, and novel discursive features. A contemporary paternalism is shown to re-appropriate the nineteenth-century topos of Austria’s alleged “civilizing mission” and what André Gingrich (2005) has described as Central Europe’s “frontier Orientalism”. Further, preoccupations with “the Balkan-route” and its closure articulate a topos of external threats tied to recent migration flows. The article reflects on an “amnesiac nationalism”, and its post-imperial entanglements, that are currently re-shaping the European Union.

Keywords:amnesiac nationalism, Austria, Balkans, banal nationalism, European Union, frontier Orientalism, Kronen Zeitung
Subjects:L Social studies > L300 Sociology
L Social studies > L214 Nationalism
L Social studies > L380 Political Sociology
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Social & Political Sciences
ID Code:40123
Deposited On:12 Mar 2020 09:20

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