AN ENLIGHTENMENT PERSPECTIVE ON BALKAN CULTURAL PLURALISM THE REPUBLICAN VISION OF RHIGAS VELESTINLIS
Abstract:Cultural pluralism in the Balkans has often been considered as the source of conflict in the region. Against this perspective it is suggested that Enlightenment political thought in southeastern Europe, as represented by the radical republicanism of Rhigas Velestinlis (1757-98), incorporated the idea of cultural pluralism in a project for a unitary democratic state, modelled on the 'Republic of Virtue', that was expected to replace despotism and to transform its subjects into free citizens. The political culture of this state would be provided by the principles of republican Hellenism while its ethnic pluralism would be located in its civil society. It is stressed that republican Hellenism was a political and moral, not an ethnic, project. This political project however, was preempted by the emergence of cultural nationalism that cancelled the Enlightenment vision of democratic citizenship, equality and recognition for individuals as well as ethnic groups in a unitary republic.
Keywords: >; Balkans; Enlightenment; French Revolution; Greek culture; Greek political thought; Hellenic Republic; Jacobinism; Rhigas Velestinlis; Southeastern Europe; cosmopolitan; democratic citizenship; equality; ethnic identity-ethnic problem; mulitculturalism; nationalism; pluralism, ethno-cultural; recognition; republican Hellenism; republicanism
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: Institute for Neo-Hellenic Research, Vas. Constantinou 48, Athens 11635, Greece., Email: email@example.com
Publication date: January 1, 2003