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Ideology, propaganda and mass culture in the independent state of Croatia, 1941-1945

Yeomans, Rory; (2005) Ideology, propaganda and mass culture in the independent state of Croatia, 1941-1945. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access


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This thesis examines the ideology of the Ustasha Movement which ruled the Independent State of Croatia between 1941 and 1945, considering the way in which it used popular culture to consolidate its rule and legitimise its policies. It begins with a survey of historiographical and literary treatments of the Ustashas as a starting point to explore the main themes of the Ustasha ideology (ustastvo). These were ideas it had in common with other fascist and ultra-nationalist movements in Europe. However, this thesis argues that while the Ustasha Movement drew its ideology from a number of different sources including Yugoslavism, fascism and National Sociahsm, its main source of ideological inspiration came from ideas deeply rooted in traditional Croatian nationalism. The fact that Ustasha ideology was at least partly grounded in popular prejudices and national myths means that the extent of support the Ustashas enjoyed from the masses and their relationship with them needs to be reconsidered. Often the Ustashas have been portrayed as an extreme political phenomenon with little following. This thesis contends that the Ustasha Movement had not only more support among the population than has hitherto been suggested, but that the Ustashas, far from being a marginal group of outsiders, represented simply the most extreme expression of a mainstream nationalist consensus. To be successful, propaganda needs to reflect existing social values. In the Ustashas' case, their ideology also reflected prevaihng aesthetic values. Although the Ustashas' propaganda was grounded in a utilitarian appropriation of national myths, ceremonies and traditions, their radical, modernising ideas and apocalyptic rhetoric gained them the support of leading artists in Croatia too. The desire to create an exclusivist Croatian culture was not, therefore, restricted to the Ustashas, but was a widely-held national goal.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Ideology, propaganda and mass culture in the independent state of Croatia, 1941-1945
Identifier: PQ ETD:602811
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > SSEES
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1446869
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