Yugonostalgia in Comparative Perspective

Nostalgia for the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (i.e., Yugonostalgia) is often portrayed as a complex social phenomenon occurring among the people of successor states established after the armed conflict which resulted in Yugoslavia’s break-up. The nostalgia is based on remembering the positive aspects of the Yugoslav people’s common, inclusive, and peaceful past, but longing for the time when there was peaceful co-existence is contentious given the region’s violent past. While some believe Yugonostalgia can facilitate post-conflict reconciliation among the states and their people, others warn that yearning for a socialist past can potentially hinder the progress of newly-developed democratic states. 

While most studies approach Yugonostalgia as a singular phenomenon that touches each of its successor states, this research project aims to take on a comparative perspective to the complex phenomenon of Yugonostalgia. By examining the existing literature on the forms and expressions of post-conflict Yugonostalgia in three of the Yugoslav successor states, namely Bosnia, Croatia, and Serbia, we seek to analyse the extent to which Yugonostalgia differs across these countries. In addition, we aim to investigate the ways in which manifestations of Yugonostalgia might vary across the different countries, and examine whether the underlying reasons for its occurrence differ. Finally, we aim to analyse the potential impact Yugonostalgia might have on the reconciliation processes within and between Bosnia, Croatia and Serbia.