Mass Communication and the 'Nationalisation' of the Public Sphere in Former Yugoslavia

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Although the quasi-confederal character of Yugoslavia, especially after the introduction of its 1974 constitution did not encourage the development of a genuine Yugoslavian public sphere wherepublic debate could transcend ethnic and republic divisions, it nevertheless allowed the formation of what could be called Yugoslav cultural space, a space within which social and political actors (feminist, peace movements) forged their identities regardless of the ethnic or national diversity that characterised their membership. However, the existence of this 'space' had a limited impact in Yugoslav politics partly due to the breakdown of inter-republic communication and the fragmentation of the Yugoslavian mass media. This paper traces the process of disintegration of the Yugoslav cultural space and the emergence of national 'public spheres' in the republics and provinces of former Yugoslavia and attempts to assess the role of the mass media and cultural institutions in these developments by identifying the key strategies of representation employed in the process of the fragmentation and 'nationalisation' of the public sphere of former Yugoslavia.

How to Cite:

Walgrave, S., (1997) “Mass Communication and the 'Nationalisation' of the Public Sphere in Former Yugoslavia”, Res Publica 39(2), p.259-270. doi:

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Published on
29 Jun 1997
Peer Reviewed