Buying and Selling the Istrian Goat

Istrian Regionalism, Croatian Nationalism, and EU Enlargement

by John Ashbrook (Author)
©2008 Monographs 160 Pages


The majority of scholarly works on the dissolution of Yugoslavia and the establishment of its successor states focus almost exclusively on the national question. There is no major study of the subnational regional dimension, which had significant effects on the politics and political structures of these newly independent states.
This book addresses this deficit by examining the struggle of Istrian regionalists in the Istrian Democratic Assembly (IDS) against the nearly hegemonic nationalists of the Croatian ruling party, the Croatian Democratic Alliance (HDZ).
Using a wide variety of primary and secondary sources, this instrumentalist analysis assays the political historiography of Istria in the 19th and 20th centuries, provides an analytical case study of the regionalist conflict with the HDZ in the 1990s and into the 21st century, illustrates how and why the regionalist party tried to influence both Istrians and Western Europeans in this struggle, and derives a critical analysis of the role of regionalism in European Union enlargement from this case study. It also shows that nationalists do not hold a monopoly on the politicization of identities.


ISBN (Softcover)
Europäische Union Kroatien Istrian regionalism Croatian nationalism Political history
Bruxelles, Bern, Berlin, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2008. 160 pp.

Biographical notes

John Ashbrook (Author)

The Author: John Ashbrook is Assistant Professor of History at Sweet Briar College in Virginia. He earned his Ph.D. in 2002 under the guidance of Dr. Maria Todorova. His research interests focus on politicization of identities, regionalism vs. nationalism, and modern political and diplomatic history of Central and Eastern Europe and the Balkans. His more recent research interest is on EU enlargement into the formerly communist states of Europe. Ashbrook has had a number of publications in peer-reviewed journals such as East European Politics and Societies, the Journal of the American Association for History and Computing, The Carl Beck Papers in Russian and East European Studies, and Nationalities Papers. He is very active in presenting academic papers at both domestic and international conferences.


Title: Buying and Selling the Istrian Goat