In May 2013 I visited Zagreb to attend the Second Balkan Forum. Every day from May 7-18, Zagreb’s Youth Theater courtyard was filled with the sound of clinking coffee cups and voices as union activists, teachers, organized students, and others met to discuss themes spanning the range of feminism, LGBT activism, 21st-century imperialism, workers’ struggles and co-ops, the demise of social welfare programs, international solidarity and the European debt crisis. Sponsored in part by the Rosa-Luxembourg Foundation, Heinrich-Böll Foundation, PEN Croatia, and Attac France, in 2012 the Forum had been created as a meeting point for activists from Poland, Albania, Bosnia, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, Slovenia and Croatia, with self-identified comrades from Italy, Spain, Germany and Greece attending as well. With the Greek debt crisis looming and critiques of European Union (EU) economic politics on the rise, every participant I met and to whom I talked spoke about the negative outfalls of privatization (denationalization and deregulation of industry, downscaling of government programs with the goal of increasing market efficiencies), stabilization (anti-inflation policies, hard budget constraints and a convertible currency), and liberalization (domestic market competition). In particular, in speaking from within (and about) what is commonly referred to as “the post-socialist condition” – a political reality and structure of feeling that indexes that there is no alternative – Eastern European activists expressed grave concerns about job losses, cutbacks in pay, benefits, and pensions, the corporatization of university education (Živkovicˇ, 2015), and the general decline in public and collective forms of life. At the same time, they also spoke about the need for cosmopolitan democracy and transnational solidarity, even as they realized that these terms indicated more of a dream than a reality for the globe. Central to many assessments and accounts that emerged at the meeting in

Zagreb was what Peter, a young Serbian sociologist and activist,1 expressed as the “politics of hope”: a political attitude and stance that refuses to believe in the dictum that there is no alternative to direct attention to the fact that there should be an alternative. Peter located this politics concretely in Yugoslavism, an idea (elaborated below) that has been circulating in a number of forums and political groups. Yugoslavism evokes cosmopolitan federalism as a

political form through which to democratize governance on a transnational scale. Peter’s remarks reflected Yugoslavism’s location in the context of a utopian imagination that asks critical analysts and political activists to think about what Elizabeth Povinelli (2011) has called an “otherwise” and Jennifer Wenzel (2009) an “otherwhile.” In thinking out loud about the possibilities for constitutional arrangements

that recognize plurality, diversity, and fragmentation within a nationally disaggregated polity, Peter’s remarks reflected Yugoslavism’s connection of the need for social and economic solidarity to a more decentralized form of sovereignty. In essence, in rejecting the axiom that political communities should be grounded in national identities, Yugoslavism envisions a possible form of regional confederation and transnational democracy. Yugoslavism very helpfully illustrates the links between past political prac-

tices, dreams of a different future, and new ways of imagining the local and the global, which express the complex and productive links between time and globalization that are the focus of this book. In this chapter I am also interested in understanding how and why Yugoslavism continues to constitute a political space of attraction for Eastern European subjects. In following others (Štiks and Horvat, 2015), I suggest that it might provide the left in the region with a stronger sense of community, and the ability to link its struggles in more effective ways. Yet for this transnational vision to emerge, a number of obstacles relating to the politics of temporality and time have to be cleared out of the way, including some contemporary historiographical and analytical conventions that may preclude analysts and activists from grasping Yugoslavism as an alternative mode of political analysis and thinking. I am not suggesting that in this present Yugoslavism constitutes an answer for political desires that wish to reconcile, say, cultural singularity and multiplicity, or wish to establish social mutuality and equality, but together with Peter and others I argue that contemporary social and critical thinking should not so easily dismiss previous attempts to imagine (if imperfectly implemented) alternative political worlds. I begin this analysis with a brief narrative of Yugoslavism as one site of

difference within the context of an alleged utopia of socialist modernization and an integral part of the non-aligned movement (NAM) (Prashad, 2007). In thus beginning in the middle of Yugoslavism’s story, I skip over its 19thcentury history as one possible route to promote Serbo-Croatian unity, as well as a political practice supposed to transcend the religious, national, linguistic, and historical differences that separated south Slavic cultural groups and nations (Trgovcˇevic´, 2003; Todorova, 2009; Pavkovic´, 2003). I also skip over the social activism and thought of 19th-century Serbian socialist Svetozar Markovic´ (Grubacˇicˇ, 2010, pp. 162-164), not because I wish to dismiss its underlying impetus to address economic disparity and ethnic discrimination, but because Peter’s comments can be framed by his contribution first and foremost in terms of political relations. While from a perspective of today it may appear more than obvious that Yugoslavism indexes nothing more than

a failed political project (Bieber, 2013), cultural and parochial idea (Drapac, 2010), or outdated curio from the archives of left history (Djokicˇ, 2013; Djilas, 2013), for some subjects at least it constitutes a vital legacy from which to imagine another future. In taking this understanding seriously instead of quickly dismissing it out of hand, this chapter accepts the suggestion that Peter expressed as an invitation to think about Yugoslavism – including our stories about and methods for approaching its own temporality and time – as a possible source of inspiration for political imaginations and thinking. Once I have established some of the more hopeful aspects and dimensions

of Yugoslavism as a practice and idea, I shift the analysis to more critical inquiries into the politics of temporality and time. In keeping in step with the expression of Yugoslavism as a concept of hope, I think about dimensions of temporality associated with the term as non-linear, multidirectional, and simultaneous in a way that opens it up to the possibility of conceiving of it as a present force. Here historian Reinhart Koselleck’s (2004, p. 95) notion of “the contemporaneity of the noncontemporaneous” that signals how this now – or what he calls a temporal refraction – contains a diversity of temporal strata acts as my guide, as does the political utopianism of unorthodox Marxist thinker Ernst Bloch. In building in particular on Bloch’s major work in three volumes, The Principle of Hope, I examine Yugoslavism’s double focus as affirmation and critique. In looking at the diagnostic presumptions of some of our temporal conventions, including historical linearity and postsocialist and left-wing nostalgia, I emphasize hope’s capacity for what Viktor Shklovsky (2002) has characterized as estrangement (ostranenie) – the ability to render unfamiliar the all-too-recognizable contours of present configurations of time and the temporal meanings to which we have become habituated. My goal here is to distance analysis from the present order, to suspend and momentarily disable those epistemologies and habits of thinking that keep subjects locked in narrow orbits of social possibilities and options. In then directing this chapter’s analytical gaze toward hope’s provocative function, I turn my attention to the role of dreaming and the untimely as markers of possibility of different futures. In thus seeking to grasp those elements that mark Yugoslavism as a de-reifying and affirming technique, I also investigate Yugoslavism as what Bloch (1995) calls the “real – possible” – a project of hope, to be sure, but one instantiated in a concrete narrative of politics and time that inevitably constrains the temporal possibilities explored below. A caveat is in order before the analysis begins: in this chapter globalization

does not appear in the form of corporate market economy, the spread of Western liberal democracy (Fukuyama, 1989), or a worldwide political advance to a global era (Hardt and Negri, 2001). Neither does it appear as a congeries of local/global interactions, or an emphasis on – as anthropologists are prone to do – the specificity of cultural productions in relation to globalization. Rather, it appears as a concern and desire: as a post-socialist resident dream connected to other dreams of equality and freedom – to, for example, the internationalist post-World War II dream of Bandung, the economic

autonomy and political self-management vision of Aimé Césaire, the socialism of Michael Manley. Of course – Bandung, Césaire, and Manley – these are names that have become symbols of what was once thought of as possible: national sovereignty and world peace. These are also names connected to a dream space that since the 1970s has been slowly coming apart. Usually, this dream space is now exhibited in dioramas, in museums behind glass, visible but dusty. Yet critiques of globalization as a form of corporate consolidation, standardization of world markets, and deference of national governments to transnational business demands require more than – as suggested in the anti-/alter-globalization movement (AGM) – visions of networks, rhizomes, assemblages, webs, and braids (Rethmann, 2013; Graeber, 2009; Khasnabish, 2013). They also require temporal bridges that assist analystsactivists in understanding the dream of Yugoslavism as a connective one – an internationalism of lost possibilities from which political subjects might learn: not as a legacy to preserve but as a tool to use.