Citizens of an empty nation: Youth and state-making in postwar Bosnia-Herzegovina

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87 Scopus citations


In the wake of devastating conflict in Bosnia-Herzegovina, the polarizing effects of everyday ethnic divisions, combined with hardened allegiances to ethnic nationalism and the rigid arrangements imposed in international peace-building agreements, have produced what Azra Hromad�ic calls an "empty nation." Hromad�ic explores the void created by unresolved tensions between mandated reunification initiatives and the segregation institutionalized by power-sharing democracy, and how these conditions are experienced by youths who have come of age in postconflict Bosnia-Herzegovina. Building on long-term ethnographic research at the first integrated school of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Citizens of an Empty Nation offers a ground-level view of how the processes of reunification play out at the Mostar Gymnasium. Hromad�ic details the local effects of the tensions and contradictions inherent in the processes of postwar state-making, shedding light on the larger projects of humanitarian intervention, social cohesion, cross-ethnic negotiations, and citizenship. In this careful ethnography, the Mostar Gymnasium becomes a powerful symbol for the state's simultaneous segregation and integration as the school's shared halls, bathrooms, and computer labs foster dynamic spaces for a rich cross-ethnic citizenship�or else remain empty.

Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherUniversity of Pennsylvania Press
Number of pages239
ISBN (Electronic)9780812291223
ISBN (Print)9780812247008
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences
  • General Arts and Humanities


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