Serbian Historiography in the Time of Transition: a Struggle for Legitimacy Cover Image

Srpska istoriografija u vreme tranzicije: Borba za legitimitet
Serbian Historiography in the Time of Transition: a Struggle for Legitimacy

Author(s): Nataša Milićević, Predrag J. Marković
Subject(s): History
Published by: Institut za savremenu istoriju, Beograd
Keywords: serbian historiography; transition; legitimacy;

Summary/Abstract: The typical public experience of a historian in Serbia (and probably elsewhere in the ex-Communist countries) during the last years of Communism was when a new acquaintance (including taxi drivers, accidental travel companions, etc) would ask, ‘When will you historians tell the real truth to the people’? What is the reason for such a lack of trust in historians? It is not enough to say that history has been tainted with the ideology of the regime. All other social sciences and humanistic disciplines were influenced by the ruling ideology to a similar degree. Nevertheless, very few among so-called ’common people’ would have questioned the reliability of sociology or philosophy, for example, or hint at their special relation with the Communist regime. Of course, the very language of historiography is more accessible for laymen than in other scholarly disciplines. Historical topics tend to arouse more interest than, say, philosophical issues. In addition, Churchill allegedly said that Balkan peoples burdened themselves with more history than they could endure. Although such a remark could be disregarded as the result of an imperialist stereotype, perhaps there is a kernel of truth in it.

  • Issue Year: 2007
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 145-167
  • Page Count: 22
  • Language: English