Why is Balkanisation considered offensive

Status
Closed
Mar 2011
100
#11
Well, the term is born after the Berlin congress in 1878 and the initial meaning is "political fragmentation despite any ethnic reasons" - meaning the fragmentation of the Balkan peninsula in all possible sorts of states and political formations.

Later, after the huge mess of the Second Balkan war, the term got wider meaning:
- immoral, some times drastic actions between former allies, unprincipled and unscrupulous changing of the political positions without paying any attention to the even basic morality in politics;
- a heavy and difficult to solve political mess, with ruthless aggression against "others" and brutal atrocities;
- no limits in the political unmorality.

The other name of the Balkans used to be "the powder keg of Europe" ...

The "devil is not so black", actually, there is a lot of fake propaganda about the mutual agression of the Balkan people against each other, but still...

So yes, it has a pejorative, but also a "crisis - fear" meaning.
Thanks for providing more of the historical context. It's interesting to know.
 

WeisSaul

Ad Honorem
Mar 2012
2,836
New Amsterdam
#12
I wasn't aware it was a pejorative.

Doesn't it simply mean one political unit dissolving (often violently and/or chaotically) into many more?

I could imagine one thinking the dissolution process itself as a negative thing, but the term itself seems like a value-neutral descriptor.
 
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GogLais

Ad Honorem
Sep 2013
5,450
Wirral
#13
I wasn't aware it was a pejorative.

Doesn't it simply mean one political unit dissolving (often violently and/or chaotically) into many more?

I could imagine one thinking the dissolution process itself as a negative thing, but the term itself seems like a value-neutral descriptor.
I imagine that offence is taken at the implication that the people of the Balkans cannot govern themselves properly. Not a subject that i know much about but surely the chaos arose out of the decline of the Ottoman Empire?
 
Nov 2013
1,482
Serbia
#14
I'm from Serbia, and I would define balcanization as augmenting differences that are somewhat minor. For instance Serbs, Croats, Bosniaks and Montenegrins all understand each other (virtualy its the same language), but every one of them have their own language (serbian, croatian, etc.). Unlike, say Germans and Austrians, who both officialy speak german, eventhough they live in different states.
 
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KGB

Ad Honorem
Apr 2011
3,385
#15
Balkans has never been a federal region, with some exceptions - the biggest one iw Yougoslavia (1919-1991); The Otoman Empire, we can say, united Balkans somehow and early in the history - The IRE and the First Bulgarian state did so for about 200 years. That`s all.
All other history of the Balkans is separation of some national states, like Bulgaria, Srebia, Greece and Romania, and earlier - Bulgaria, Wallachia, Serbia, Albania amd the remains of the Byzantia - Epirus and others small units.

So, I think it is not correct to review Balkanization as opposition of federalism. Federalism is something, which is imposed to the Balkans from the great powers or from invaders like Ottomans.

Balkanization is mostly political mess, immoral aggression and cynical propaganda, despite any rights of the locals...
 

KGB

Ad Honorem
Apr 2011
3,385
#16
Thanks for providing more of the historical context. It's interesting to know.
:)

Oh, Balkans are in the same time boiling pot, a wick and an intensive historical stage... From the Western point of view or from Russian one, it is small region with funny comedies and pain in the neck for the big one`s, but actually the drama is quite real - and the blood, the tragedy, the glory and people`s achievement or evildoings are very real..

When the Balkans started the overture of the WWI in 1912, about 2 000 000 people took part, only in the military. And same number and more suffered really bad. Same in Yugoslavian wars in 1990-ies.
 
Aug 2019
1
Balkans
#18
Using the name of any region or nation to imply something negative is derogatory to that region or nation. It is outright racist - try and get away with using the name of any other region in a similar manner, and they will come after you. Why do people seem to think it is ok to insult the Balkans...?
 

Valens

Ad Honorem
Feb 2014
8,303
Colonia Valensiana
#19
The term itself may be relatively modern but the phenomenon which it tries to describe goes far back to the past and stems from the European view of the Balkans as the 'Near East' of Europe. It is also closely linked to Orientalism and prevailing negative views the Europeans had about the region. It still exists today and was only reinforced during and after the Yugoslav wars of the 90's, painting a picture of the Balkans as a region dominated by squabbling, divided states that constantly clash with each other and remain a source of constant instability. Balkanization in this context should be viewed as a myriad of conflicting regional particularisms which lead to political division.

It may be viewed as offensive because it loans heavily from Western Orientalist stereotypes.
 
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