Article

Collectivity vs. Connectivity: Highway peripheralization in former Yugoslavia (1940s-1980s)

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Abstract

The paper argues that in the 1940s–1950s the construction of the ‘Brotherhood and Unity’ highway in former Yugoslavia was an important tool for the formation of a trans-ethnic collective socialist Yugoslav identity, based on the idea of equality of all citizens, of all republics and of ‘building a new Man’. Yet in practice, from the 1960s the constructed auto transport infrastructure started to adapt to pragmatic advantages and produced the opposite – differentiation of the Federation’s cores and peripheries, and a growing sense of individualism with the spread of personal automobility. The paper investigates the elements of this shift, being based on the analysis of official reports, secondary literature and national statistics.

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... Additionally, in 1940 Yugoslavia the development and construction of the Brotherhood and Unity highway aimed to play a significant role in the formation of a collective socialist identity. While such an achievement offered connectivity and material advantages, it highlighted the inequalities between core and peripheries and was perceived as a tool to develop tourism (Pozharliev, 2016) following the period after the First World War, during which tourism was seen as the engine for the growth of the local economy in Dalmatia (Chorvát, 2009). More particularly, even though during the first years of Yugoslavia, industrial development was favoured over activities such as tourism, this soon changed in the 1950s, with the government (re)establishing links with foreign tour operators in order to benefit from the growth of mass tourism in Europe (Taylor & Grandits, 2010). ...
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