It was around a century ago that the great empires of eastern Europe collapsed. For more than a hundred years, attempts have been made to erase the legacy of empire through assimilation, expulsions and destruction. But the modern national states in the Balkans are still today continuing the tradition of the Byzantine, Ottoman and Habsburg empires.
Against this background, Oliver Schmitt has written a postimperial history of the Balkans. This unusual angle enables him to regard the Balkans as a large region of Europe and point out lines of continuity that persist to the present day. On the basis of recent research, fundamental developments in politics, society, the economy and culture are compared transnationally, so that differences and common elements among the individual Balkan states, as well as across the region as a whole, clearly emerge.