Belated alliances? Tracing the intersections between postcolonialism and postcommunism

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Post-1989 eastern Europe, despite generating in the past two decades numerous studies drawing on Edward Said's Orientalism and the paradigms of postcolonialism (Todorova 1997; Goldsworthy 1998; Bjelić and Savić 2003; Kovačević, "Orientalizing", 2008), continues to remain neglected and rarely discussed in postcolonial studies. This article traces the intersections between postcommunism and postcolonialism by looking at the emergence of postcolonial frameworks for interrogating the construction of eastern Europe (south-eastern Europe in particular) spanning the Enlightenment, the Cold War and the postcommunist period. The second part of the article examines whether new comparative frameworks between postcolonialism and postcommunism are emerging in the light of recent migration from eastern Europe to the west. Engaging with Rada Iveković's provocative argument that the non-nationalist opposition in former Yugoslavia claimed the critical terrain of postcolonialism when it lost the Yugoslav space and its referent other, the "non-aligned", the article concludes by pointing out that an engagement with the non-aligned legacy of communist foreign diplomacy might offer an alternative wealth of interpretative resources and productive "(non-)alliances" between postcolonialism and postcommunism, thus supplementing "1989" or recent migrations as starting points of convergence between the two paradigms.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)164-175
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Postcolonial Writing
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 20 Mar 2012


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