Foundational Political Myths in Divided Societies: The Case of Montenegro "CANCELLED"

Thursday, July 17, 2014: 8:30 PM
Room: 304
Petar MARKOVIC , Humanistic Studies, University of Donja Gorica, Montenegro, Podgorica, Montenegro
This paper provides an analysis of the constitutive role of founding myths in the formation of nation-states. In particular, it aims to elucidate the odd cases of identity formation in complex and ethnically divided societies where, it is argued here, the historical and cultural legacies are passed on rather differently than in the case of homogenous societies mostly analysed in the literature on political mythology. With the intention to submit a phenomenon that belongs to the family of the most basic and yet arcane and essentially contested concepts of political theory and political culture to an impartial politicological investigation, the founding myth is firstly reconstructed with respect to the general theory of myth and political myth. In the second part, the role of mythological legacy in the genesis of the statehood of Montenegro both in the past and present is analysed. The author argues there are two founding narratives in Montenegro, explains their ethno-nationalist character and attempts to deduce patterns of their instrumentalization by the rulers of the Petrovic-Njegos dynasty and the current government. The paper ends with concluding remarks about the controversial status of 'competitive foundational mythology' and the need to set forth new and republicanized forms of legitimisation that would disengage the regressive dialectics induced by the myths discussed thus far.