Serbian nationalism has rarely been the subject of theoretical analysis. For the most part, recent work on Serbian history implicitly supports the ‘modernist’ position among nationalism theorists, which holds that nationalism is a modern phenomenon that serves the interests of the politically powerful. In this article, the Serbian nationalist movement of the 1980s will be examined in light of the major theoretical approaches to nationalism (modernism, perennialism and ethno-symbolism). Using a small group of nationalist intellectuals (Dobrica Ćosi, Borislav Mihajlovi Mihiz and Mića Popović) as its subject, it concludes that the restrictive modernist approach leads to misunderstandings of the nature of modern Serbian national identity.
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