ABSTRACT

This chapter questions the theoretical assumptions through an empirical study of the Croatian case. Are borders of a diaspora given or dependent on social actors' definitions? When do diasporas "appear" as political subjects? The chapter explores how the diaspora as a category of practice emerges as a complex process of deterritorialized national mobilization. It retraces the logics of identification produced by different factors that led to the emergence of the diaspora as a mobilization category in the transnational field. The chapter then moves to the different ways these repertoires materialized in the early 1990s and led to specific repertoires of diasporic action. It essentially deals with the case of Croatians in North America. The chapter is concerned with what is without doubt the most important place in the first years of history of the new state—and one that is widely neglected in official history grounded in methodological nationalism: the transnational arena.