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In: Studia Politica Slovaca, vol. 7, no. 1
Zuzana Poláčková - Pieter Duin Van

Montenegro’s Gulf of Kotor as a historical border region: Political rivalry, cultural competition, and local co-existence in a long-term perspective

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Year, pages: 2014, 21 - 42
Keywords: Gulf of Kotor; longue durée history; border regions; cultural competition; religious identity; political rivalry

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This essay argues that Boka Kotorska, Montenegro’s Gulf of Kotor region, can be conceptualised as a political, cultural, and religious border region where ‘East’ and ‘West’, the Orthodox and Catholic worlds, encountered each other and overlapped over a long period of time. There were various political and economic actors involved in this historical process of rivalry and co-existence, including Byzantium, Venice, Serbia, the Ottoman Empire, and Montenegro and its predecessors Duklja and Zeta. The Gulf of Kotor became a region where a large number of Catholic and Italian-influenced settlements sprung up, although the Orthodox population appears to have constituted a majority of the population even in Venetian and Austrian-controlled territory between the Late Middle Ages and the early twentieth century. Patterns of co-existence in the town of Kotor and elsewhere did not prevent the emergence of religious and political conflict on many occasions. But these contradictory aspects of rivalry and co-existence balanced each other during most of the long period that the Gulf of Kotor region had a certain political, economic, and cultural importance. This may contribute to our understanding of the dynamics of larger and smaller European border regions and of European history as a whole. In a micro-region like Boka Kotorska destructive confrontation and constructive interpenetration can be observed as a long-term process.

How to cite:

ISO 690:
Poláčková, Z., Duin Van, P. 2014. Montenegro’s Gulf of Kotor as a historical border region: Political rivalry, cultural competition, and local co-existence in a long-term perspective . In Studia Politica Slovaca, vol. 7, no.1, pp. 21-42. 1337-8163.

APA:
Poláčková, Z., Duin Van, P. (2014). Montenegro’s Gulf of Kotor as a historical border region: Political rivalry, cultural competition, and local co-existence in a long-term perspective . Studia Politica Slovaca, 7(1), 21-42. 1337-8163.