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‘Union or death!’: Gavrilo Princip, Young Bosnia and the role of ‘Sacred time’ in the dynamics of nationalist terrorism

Jackson, P. (2006) ‘Union or death!’: Gavrilo Princip, Young Bosnia and the role of ‘Sacred time’ in the dynamics of nationalist terrorism. Totalitarian Movements and Political Religions. 7(1), pp. 45-65. 1743-9647.

Item Type: Article
Abstract: This article seeks to investigate the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand from the ideological perspective of his assassins: the Young Bosnia movement. More specifically, it views Young Bosnia’s ideology as a form of political religion. It begins by constructing an ideal-typically defined syndrome of how radicalised, counter-hegemonic ideologies draw on senses of the numinous as part of their praxis. The article argues that through this lens we can enrich our understanding of the movement’s ideological dynamic. By taking as a point of departure the Young Bosnia’s conception of cultural time, which they believed to be unstable, the article argues that the movement promoted a mental state that demanded the need to act out what were perceived as personally heroic and socially redemptive fantasies. To the members of Young Bosnia, these fantasies, dramatising individual and societal redemption, were understood as narratives of renewal, or ‘palingenesis’. Following a theoretical discussion exploring this syndrome ideal-typically, the model is then used to generate a reading of the ideology that underpinned the Young Bosnia movement. After this, the article turns its attention to Ferdinand’s killer, Gavrilo Princip, and the cohort helping to carry out the assassination. This grouping’s willingness to commit suicide after completing their ‘mission’ was, the article argues, the product of a host of mythopoeic resources drawn upon by the Young Bosnia movement in order to elaborate a palingenetic ideology. Further, it claims that their actions provide an excellent case study in which one can see how a broad synthesis of socialist, Marxist and nationalist ideologies, alongside poetic resources, each induced the palingenetic condition in the assassins. Finally, it provides an explanatory framework that allows us to interpret how this ideology could justify political violence both against others and against their own persons
Subjects: J Political Science > JN Political institutions and public administration (Europe) > JN50 Political parties, Europe
J Political Science > JC Political theory > JC328.6 Violence. Political violence
D History General and Old World > DB Austria > DB80 19th-20th centuries > DB89.F7 Franz Ferdinand, Archduke of Austria, 1863-1914. Assassination
J Political Science > JC Political theory > JC311 Nationalism. Nation state
Creators: Jackson, Paul
Publisher: Routledge
Faculties, Divisions and Institutes: University Faculties, Divisions and Research Centres - OLD > School of Social Sciences (to 2016)
University Faculties, Divisions and Research Centres - OLD > Faculty of Education & Humanities > History
Faculties > Faculty of Education & Humanities > History
Date: 2006
Date Type: Publication
Page Range: pp. 45-65
Journal or Publication Title: Totalitarian Movements and Political Religions
Volume: 7
Number: 1
Language: English
ISSN: 1743-9647
Status: Published / Disseminated
Refereed: Yes
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