This paper advances two interrelated claims about late socialist order in the former Yugoslavia. First, the Yugoslav People’s Army (JNA), which had been a pillar of the Yugoslav state socialism, had to start justifying its character as it came to be defined as an outmoded and conservative institution. Second, it was increasingly difficult for the JNA leadership to attract men to its ranks while masculine ideals entered a period of flux. The urban and educated upper and middle-classes openly argued that the army was not living up to the many roles it was supposed to play. This study has important implications for studies of late socialism in Eastern Europe and the USSR as it indicates the dynamism of this period.
During the rule of Josef Stalin, the Soviet government sought to promulgate a common culinary aesthetic to facilitate the goals of the Soviet project. But pushback against these “socialist realist foodways” emerged in Soviet Ukraine. During the Khrushchev era the Ukrainian government took the step of creating Ukrains”ki stravy (“Ukrainian Dishes”). First published in 1957, this Ukrainian-language cookbook sought to articulate foodways that were both socialist realist and distinctively Ukrainian. The inevitable contradictions within this effort foreshadowed the problems that would dominate Soviet food discourse in subsequent decades, as the USSR’s citizens increasingly critiqued the shortcomings of the Soviet food system and attempted to reclaim prerevolutionary, and particularly national, culinary traditions. Drawing on published and archival Ukrainian sources, this paper explores the uncomfortable balance between nationality policy and official Soviet food discourse in the postwar era, and how this contributed to the eventual demise of socialist realist foodways.
During the Brezhnev era, the USSR’s food world was preoccupied with the “national cuisines” of the Soviet peoples. This represented the culmination of a major postwar trend expressed in cooking advice literature and public dining, notably through the publication of “national” cookbooks and the establishment of flagship ethnic restaurants in Moscow. Food experts promoting national cuisines sought to tidy up the borders of the USSR’s gastronomic landscape, putting each people in their place and elevating selected aspects of their cultures. This encouraged a collision between a longstanding drive for cultural modernization and a growing popular desire for historical “authenticity.” This collision not only laid bare failures of the Soviet food system, but also established an appealing and durable culinary legacy. Examining the national cuisines paradigm, we can identify productive tensions in late Soviet culture and come to better understand how fluidity across time and space helped define socialist modernity.
The fashion industry in the USSR developed as a socialist institution, premised on modernizing and proletarianizing a bourgeois and westward-facing system. When the All-Union House of Design (ODMO) opened in 1949, clothing designers believed that the usage of ethnic motifs based on the national costumes of the constituent republics provided the simplest means of creating clothing that reflected and celebrated the uniqueness of the USSR. Following Stalin’s death, fashion designers helped build a clothing industry that was compatible with international style trends, while endeavoring to maintain the basic tenets of Soviet design: practical, beautiful, and mass-producible clothing that reflected ethnic or national traditions. The continued utilization of ethnic and national motifs presented an image domestically and internationally of a unified, modern Soviet Union that allowed for national self-expression and beautified its citizens.
The article explores the development of energy and transport networks in the Cold War Balkans by bringing three case studies of cross-border connectivity into focus: the Yougelexport project, the Djerdap hydropower station and the Circular Highway. In this endeavour networks are not treated as neutral physical infrastructures, but as social phenomena with political, cultural and economic impact. Hence, the development of cross-border and cross-bloc connectivity projects between the countries of the region is connected with the course of their bilateral relations and the broader political context of the Cold War. Against this background, the article discusses the national political objectives related to infrastructure building and the role of transnational technocratic cooperation in cross-border connectivity projects in the Cold War Balkans.
This article evaluates the role that the economic conditionality of the European Union (EU) toward the six Western Balkan countries may play in the transformation of these countries as a part of their EU accession process. The article is a case study of a temporary policy shift that occurred in 2014 in relation to conditions that Bosnia and Herzegovina must fulfill to qualify for opening negotiations on EU membership. It also aims to address what this shift has achieved for the Europeanization of Bosnia and Herzegovina and its progress towards EU accession. The shift, implemented via an economic plan called the Reform Agenda, was an attempt at Europeanization of the country’s economic policies that temporarily put aside the constitutional reform demands that had previously dominated the Europeanization discourse. After the first five years of the Reform Agenda, moderate gains primarily in the domain of economic development and fiscal stability were made; however, political fragmentation and nationalistic and secessionist ideas have prevented the reforms from making a stronger impact. Additionally, the lack of a defined desired outcome in terms of measurable economic reforms and the inadequate planning by the EU were not conducive to a more transformative impact.