The grades are in, now a couple more days and I am off to some glamorous summering in exclusive Balkan locales. There will probably be a few days of blog silence, or at least intermittent posting, after Saturday, then as soon as I am able to set up a nice fast connection in Belgrade, your faithful correspondent will be with you again.


coturnix said...

My brother is in Belgrade right now and stays until May 24th. We'll meet in NYC on May 25th. You may be able to catch him in Belgrade, though, before he dissapears in the Canadian tundras for the rest of his tenure-track career.

Harald Herrmann said...

I just found out about the fascinating , caleidoscopic multiverse that is English Balkan-blogging.

I liked your blog a lot, if you want, have a look at mine:


Greetings from Banja Luka


Yakima_Gulag said...

sretan vam put!

Eric Gordy said...

Thanks all for your comments! Boro, mislim da ću na žalost da propustim šansu da vidim Marka, jer idem odmah u Nišvil. Moraće da me pozove u onu njegovu Kanadu. Harald, hello, nice blog, I've had fantastic burek in BL. Katja, fala, nadam se da prekid blogiranja neće dugo trajati.

Balkan Ghost said...

Hi Eric,
I've noticed that you teach about mafia symbolism and ritual, in addition to your blog on the Balkans. Have you written anywhere in your archives on the Karadzic protection phenomenon? Would these groups fit into "mafia" in your opinion?

Eric Gordy said...

That's an interesting suggestion, and there are a lot of practices related to the maintenance of fugitives that are clearly related to mafia practices, the "code of silence" in particular. But I would shy away from drawing a direct association, if only because the uniqueness of the "mafia" label has some explanatory power. By this standard, the label of "mafia" would apply only to groups of long standing, based in a local community, whose primary activity is providing enforcement, guarantees and private protection. The reason this is useful is that it distinguishes between mafia activity and the much larger category of criminal organizations in general. Of course, this is all for the purposes of sociology -- for the purposes of criminal law, it may not matter what kind of illegal group is operating, as long as it is an illegal group.

чип said...

Have a good trip, greetings to all the Nišljani!

Yakima_Gulag said...

It's a really good suggestion to look at these outfits that protect war criminals in comparison to 'mafija'
It may not be commonly realized but orrigionally the 'mafija' was a legitimate liberation organization. It went bad due to failure to achieve it's stated goals.
Similar things happen in all long term organizations that start off as idealistic liberation movements. If they fail they often becaome organized criminal enterprises, if they succeed but do not re-integrate into civilian life the same thing can happen. There is a pattern and I don't think it's been studied well enough.

bhupavda: Today's Klingon word looks surprisingly Sanskrit! I think though that it's Klingon for 'burek' make sure to eat lots of burek on your trip! :)