Order, reputation and narrative: Forms of state violence in late socialist Macedonia

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Taking the view that micro-historical approaches augment our understanding of how sweeping societal change is experienced and enacted 'from below' by human actors, this paper focuses on the largely forgotten 'Vevčani affair' (1987-1989) to illuminate some under-examined modalities of violence in the waning years of Communist Party rule in Yugoslavia. In particular, the paper seeks to trace how physical violence by security forces against residents of Vevčani, a village in Western Macedonia, in August 1987 (as well as an earlier confrontation in May 1987) was part of a larger framework of forces, which included three other modalities of violence here defined as existential, reputational and narratival. The paper also examines the degree to which this particular dispute in the Republic of Macedonia became part of broader political battles in Yugoslavia, and how the existence of differentiated 'publics' within an increasingly tenuous federation operated to accelerate the dramatic changes under way in the different republics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)295-314
Number of pages20
JournalEuropean History Quarterly
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 14 2015


  • Macedonia
  • Yugoslavia
  • media
  • microhistory
  • narratival violence
  • popular protest

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • History


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