Klaus Buchenau: Südosteuropa und Lateinamerika – fern und nah

Klaus Buchenau
Südosteuropa und Lateinamerika – fern und nah. Unterschiedliche Wege zur Staatsbildung und ihre Folgen
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This article explores different patterns of interpreting reality in Southeastern Europe and Latin America. It claims that in Latin America, a principal mode of viewing society, politics and international relations is the social paradigm – i.e. a cognitive stress on the contrast between the rich and the poor, the empowered and the powerless. Southeastern Europe, in opposition to that, has developed a dominant national paradigm, which tends to underline national differences rather than social ones. This contrast is rooted in different imperial legacies – while the Spanish colonial empire left behind societies with vast social cleavages, the Ottoman Empire produced a certain degree of social equality among its Christian citizens. Other factors are historical memory and geography – national liberation in Southeastern Europe proceeded from competing historical projects rooted in the middle ages, which often pretended to the same lands on a rather small peninsula. The resulting wars deepened national identities and produced societies used to interpreting danger in terms of national foes. In Latin America, the national states developed out of the colonial provinces, so that border disputes as well as wars between neighboring states were rare. Here, economic exploitation and domination – both within society but also on the international level – advanced as main themes of discourse, a fact that rather helped to develop a common Latin American identity than national identities. Both paths have deep consequences for contemporary integration projects, since Latin American states (or civil societies) tend to form coalitions vis-à-vis neoliberal US policies. Meanwhile, Southeast European States rarely articulate common interests but go their way to Europe in a rather isolated manner, displaying distrust rather of ethnic others than of the European Union.

Buchenau, Klaus (2015): Südosteuropa und Lateinamerika – fern und nah. Unterschiedliche Wege zur Staatsbildung und ihre Folgen. In: Südosteuropäische Hefte 4 (2), S. 49–61.

Persistent Identifier (PID): http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0168-ssoar-454931