Central and Eastern European Perspectives on International Relations

Crisis and Ontological Insecurity

Serbia’s Anxiety over Kosovo's Secession

Authors: Ejdus, Filip

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  • Develops a novel perspective on crisis, identity and attachment to territory in world politics.
  • Argues that Serbia's seemingly irrational foreign policy behaviour is a form of ontological self-help in the face of Kosovo's secession.
  • Examines the relevance of materiality for ontological security of states. 
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Hardcover $74.99
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About this book

This book develops a novel way of thinking about crises in world politics. By building on ontological security theory, this work conceptualises critical situations as radical disjunctions that challenge the ability of collective agents to ‘go on’. These ontological crises bring into the realm of discursive consciousness four fundamental questions related to existence, finitude, relations and autobiography. In times of crisis, collective agents such as states are particularly attached to their ontic spaces, or spatial extensions of the self that cause collective identities to appear more firm and continuous. These theoretical arguments are illustrated in a case study looking at Serbia’s anxiety over the secession of Kosovo. The author argues that Serbia’s seemingly irrational and self-harming policy vis-à-vis Kosovo can be understood as a form of ontological self-help. It is a rational pursuit of biographical continuity and a healthy sense of self in the face of an ontological crisis triggered by the secession of a province that has been constructed as the ontic space of the Serbian nation since the late 19th century.


About the authors

Filip Ejdus is Associate Professor of Security Studies in the Faculty of Political Science at the University of Belgrade, Serbia.

Reviews

“This excellent study moves the scholarship on ontological security in IR significantly forward. Ejdus greatly enriches our understanding of state anxiety by offering a sophisticated analysis of territories as ‘ontic spaces’ that give states a sense of biographical continuity, which then becomes ruptured in moments of crisis.” (Jelena Subotić, Professor of Political Science, Georgia State University, USA)

“Filip Ejdus electrifies ontological security studies in this exceptional study on Serbian anxiety over Kosovo. Ejdus demonstrates through trenchant historical overview, careful discourse analysis, and astute conceptual development the sources, functions, and contemporary political consequences of Serbian insecurities. A dynamic study by a talented scholar that is required reading for those interested in identity, security, and the politics of memory.” (Brent J. Steele, the Francis D. Wormuth Presidential Chair and Professor of Political Science at the University of Utah, USA)

“This important book offers an innovative perspective on the politics of ‘critical situations’ and ‘ontic spaces’, or spatial extensions of the collective self, to understand how states re-establish self-identity scripts to satisfy their ontological security needs. While there are a number of studies attempting to explain the manifestation of international crises, Ejdus uses the case of Serbia’s ontological insecurity over Kosovo to offer a very original contribution to how material environments inform public perceptions of international crises and ontological security processes in world politics.” (Catarina Kinnvall, Professor of Politics, Lund University, Sweden)

 

Table of contents (7 chapters)

Table of contents (7 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook $59.99
price for Brazil (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-20667-3
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $74.99
price for Brazil
  • ISBN 978-3-030-20666-6
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Crisis and Ontological Insecurity
Book Subtitle
Serbia’s Anxiety over Kosovo's Secession
Authors
Series Title
Central and Eastern European Perspectives on International Relations
Copyright
2020
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG
eBook ISBN
978-3-030-20667-3
DOI
10.1007/978-3-030-20667-3
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-030-20666-6
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XIV, 202
Number of Illustrations
1 b/w illustrations
Topics