“Banal Balkanism?” – Rethinking Banal Nationalism and Regional Identity in the Post- Yugoslav Media Space


  • Martina Plantak Andrássy University Budapest, Hungary
  • Edina Paleviq Andrássy University Budapest, Hungary




banal nationalism, Balkans, ethnic nationalism, regional identity, media


With the collapse of Yugoslavia, the supranational Yugoslav identity disappeared and was replaced by strengthened national identities. While some states of the former Yugoslavia have rediscovered their Europeanness, others have further strengthened their national identity. This paper answers the question of whether, three decades after the dissolution of Yugoslavia, a so-called “regional identity” still exists among the former Yugoslav states (Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Kosovo). The authors set the initial hypothesis that belonging to a regional – in this case, Balkan – identity is more pronounced in the five candidate (Serbia, Montenegro and North Macedonia) and potential candidate countries (Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), and Kosovo) for European Union (EU) membership than in Slovenia and Croatia, which have become EU Member States. Hence, this article will provide insight into “regional identity” and the banality of “Balkanism” reproduced in state media. By examining articles on national online news portals, we will examine the linkage between symbols and deixes in media and their role in creating national and regional identity. This analysis will confirm our initial hypothesis that the term “regional identity” is much more prominent in the media of the EU candidate countries, than in those states which are already members of the EU. By analysing everyday nationalism in the media – a gap that exists in academic research – we aim to open up a discussion that can lead to some solutions for overcoming the identity dilemmas of the region.




How to Cite

Plantak, M., & Paleviq, E. (2022). “Banal Balkanism?” – Rethinking Banal Nationalism and Regional Identity in the Post- Yugoslav Media Space. Journal on Ethnopolitics and Minority Issues in Europe, 21(1), 1–22. https://doi.org/10.53779/JPVV3411