Home > Research > Activities > CADAAD 2014
View graph of relations


Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference -Mixed Audience

  • Federico Sicurella - Speaker


How post-Yugoslav intellectuals speak for the nation in the context of Europeanisation: the case of Croatia The intricate and much-debated relationship between national identities and the European integration process (e.g. Karolewski & Suszicky, 2007) has attracted research also in the field of critical discourse studies (e.g. Krzyżanowski, 2010). In this growing body of research, however, little attention has been devoted to intellectuals and their influence on public discourse, notably in the post-Yugoslav context. This paper begins to bridge this gap by exploring how Croatian intellectuals have acted as spokespersons for their national community in the context of European integration. Post-communist transformation and Europeanisation are widely regarded as a relatively steady condition marked by great social, economic and political uncertainty (Fraser, 1997; Burawoy & Verdery, 1999). In the societies that emerged from the disintegration of Yugoslavia, such volatility is exacerbated by tensions stemming from the post-conflict situation and the ongoing nation-building processes. In this context, intellectuals may be able to articulate widespread concerns, shared social representations, as well as a common vision for the future. Post-Yugoslav intellectuals have done so mainly by foregrounding a specific construct: the nation (Malešević, 2001). In this paper I explore the discursive strategies that Croatian intellectuals employed to ‘speak for the nation’ on the occasion of Croatia’s accession into the European Union (1st July, 2013). Building on inquiries into the discursive construction of national identities (Wodak et al., 2009), I elaborate an interdisciplinary approach which combines the notions of spokespersonship and intellectual marginality (Pels, 2000) with conceptions of the intellectual as ‘nation-maker’ (Suny & Kennedy, 1999). I apply this framework to a set of opinion pieces about Croatia’s membership in the EU which were circulated in the national press. The analysis focuses on the articulation of the nation as a project aimed to bring prosperity to its members. The case of Croatia is relevant as it illustrates how the idea of nation might occupy a quite ambivalent position vis-à-vis the ‘European project’, which in turn sheds light on the complex interplay between nationhood and Europeanisation. Furthermore, the paper complements existing critical discourse-based research by proposing an original framework for studying how intellectuals use their ‘discursive power’ to emphasise specific ideologies and values.

Event (Conference)

TitleCADAAD 2014
Degree of recognitionInternational event