cover image: Mediating Spaces : Literature, Politics, and the Scales of Yugoslav Socialism, 1870–1995


Mediating Spaces : Literature, Politics, and the Scales of Yugoslav Socialism, 1870–1995

18 Jun 2024

Throughout the twentieth century in the lands of Yugoslavia, socialists embarked on multiple projects of supranational unification. Sensitive to the vulnerability of small nations in a world of great powers, they pursued political sovereignty, economic development, and cultural modernization at a scale between the national and the global – from regional strategies of Balkan federalism to continental visions of European integration to the internationalist ambitions of the Non-Aligned Movement.

In Mediating Spaces James Robertson offers an intellectual history of the diverse supranational politics of Yugoslav socialism, beginning with its birth in the 1870s and concluding with its violent collapse in the 1990s. Showcasing the ways in which socialists in Southeast Europe confronted the political, economic, and cultural dimensions of globalization, the book frames the evolution of supranational politics as a response to the shifting dynamics of global economic and geopolitical competition. Arguing that literature was a crucial vehicle for imagining new communities beyond the nation, Robertson analyzes the manuscripts, journals, and personal correspondence of the literary left to excavate the cultural geographies that animated Yugoslav socialism and its supranational horizons. The book ultimately illuminates the innovative strategies of cultural development used by socialist writers to challenge global asymmetries of power and prestige.

Mediating Spaces reveals the full significance of supranationalism in the history of socialist thought, recovering a key concern for an era of renewed geopolitical contestation in Eastern Europe.


James M. Robertson

Published in
Montreal, CA

Table of Contents