Over at the Economist, Tim Judah is now using the 2006 Eurovision Song Contest to substantiate the ‘Yugosphere’ – the term which we have comprehensively criticised quite a few times. He refers to the ‘Yugosphere’ as being ‘so-called’, as if others have originated the term. However, it is ‘so-called’ by none other than Tim Judah who originated the odd term, who uses it the most, and even links to his paper on it.
All rather strange.
However, there is a more serious point here. Quite a few people have little idea of what goes in ex-Yugoslav states, let alone the rest of the central and eastern European states. Some may be misled into thinking the ‘Yugosphere’ is for real because it appears in the Economist. They may be surprised to learn that Croatia is pretty much economically integrated with the EU, rather than the ‘Yugosphere’.
Further, 2011 saw extreme, and continuing, tension in North Kosovo between Albanians and Serbs – to which Judah refers to. Such tension may also come as a surprise to people who have heard of some ‘Yugosphere’ in which Yugoslavia is making a kind of comeback.
Talk of a Yugosphere is a barrier to understanding – and surely the ex-Yugoslav states have had enough of that?
If there is one thing CBR hopes for in 2012, then it is that such tiresome dogmatic thinking about ‘Yugospheres’, ‘the region’, ‘West Balkans’, ‘South East Europe’ or whatever euphemism is finally dispensed with and these countries are given the dignity of being looked at in realistic terms, rather than ideological ones.