Matko Krce-Ivančić –
Nostalgia tourism: ‘Croatia. The Mediterranean as it once was’

For over a decade, the Croatian National Tourist Board (CNTB) had been using the slogan ‘Croatia. The Mediterranean as it once was.’ In the CNTB’s catalog, tourists were attracted by the following image: ‘Washed by the precious salt waters of the Adriatic, roused by the intoxicating fragrances of pines, lavender, and sage, caressed by the sun and gentle breezes, Croatia’s shores are the real hidden garden of Mediterranean beauty.’ This paper examines discursive strategies that were deployed under the slogan ‘Croatia. The Mediterranean as it once was.’ Drawing on postcolonial theory and Rey Chow’s notion of ‘coercive mimeticism’, the process ‘in which those who are marginal to mainstream Western culture are expected […] to objectify themselves in accordance with the already seen and thus to authenticate the familiar imagings of them as ethnics’, I demonstrate how nostalgia tourism fosters a mode of self-representative agency that exceeds coercive mimeticism. The CNTB enthusiastically promoted Croatia as a country that is relieved of any contemporaneity, thereby engaging in a rather complaisant mimeticism by inviting tourists to visit Croatia just as they would visit a museum, or a zoo, and experience those ‘lost’ times and ‘authentic’ passions. The paper shows how the idea of Croatia as a tourist destination that is arrested in premodernity and self-incurred immaturity taps into the Enlightenment ideology which, in turn, allows nostalgia tourism to sell a self-congratulatory experience of visiting Croatia.


Dr. Matko Krce-Ivančić has a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Manchester, United Kingdom. For his Ph.D. project, Krce-Ivančić was awarded the President’s Doctoral Scholar Award, School of Social Sciences Ph.D. Studentship and the Economic and Social Sciences Research Council North West Doctoral Training Centre Studentship.

Krce-Ivančić’s research is focused on exploring the relationship between subjectivity and politics, where power is understood to be constitutive of our subjectivity. His article ‘Governing through anxiety’, in which anxiety is explored using psychoanalytic theory to extend Foucault’s conceptualization of neoliberal governmentality, is published in Journal for Cultural Research (2018). Krce-Ivančić’s chapter ‘Neoliberal subjectivity at the political frontier’, provides a critique of Laclau’s model of emancipation by emphasizing the importance of neoliberal subjectivity, which is a part of The Late Foucault. Ethical and Political Questions, published by Bloomsbury (2020). His article ‘The knowledge of pessimism’ is published in Cosmos and History (2021) and Krce-Ivančić’s article ‘In the aftermath of the radical empiricist onslaught’ is published in Critical Horizons (2021). His article ‘Feminist epistemology: possibilities of postmodern feminist standpoint theory is published in Social Ecology (2021), while Krce-Ivančić’s article ‘Keeping our contradictory voices in existence’ is published in Studia ethnologica Croatica (2021).

In addition, Krce-Ivančić gave a number of talks at international conferences across Europe, including the London Conference in Critical Thought 2017 (London South Bank University, London, United Kingdom), Populism, and Constructing a People. Ideology and Discourse Analysis International Conference 2017 (University of Essex, Colchester, United Kingdom), Government of Self, Government of Others: Ethical and Political Questions in the Late Foucault (New University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal), Foucault at 90 (the University of the West of Scotland, Ayr, United Kingdom).