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Posts Tagged ‘Bosnia and Herzegovina’

Political Subjectivities and Local Nationalisms in Postwar Bosnia and Herzegovina

 

By Azra Hromadzic  

One of the most commonly heard “complaints” about postwar Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), made by policy-makers and academics alike, is that “ordinary Bosnians” vote for nationalists and, in that way, allow them to stay in power. While it is true that the nationalist parties have been dominating the political scene in postwar BiH, these facts and statistical data are used to make two very important and problematic claims: The first argument is that since Bosnians and Herzegovinians massively support the nationalist parties that started the war, this must mean that the majority of Bosnians and Herzegovinians are themselves nationalists (for an insightful critique of this position see Kurtović 2011). The second assertion is that any broader, cross-ethnic political and social articulations of common Bosnianhood are apolitical, nostalgic, invented and over-romanticized visions of Bosnianhood and/or are reflections of “impaired insights” on the side of “subjective” academics (see Hayden 2007).  These two claims problematically accept statistical data as “true” reflections of political and social beliefs. Furthermore, these positions rest on a primordial, essentilizing and totalizing view of Bosnian and Herzegovinian “ethnic groups rooted in ethnic territories” (for a powerful critique of this rigid vision of multiculturalism, see Campbell 1999; Chandler 1999, and Gagnon n.d.). (more…)

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