Discourses of trans-ethnic narod in postwar Bosnia and Herzegovina

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28 Scopus citations


The processes of peace-building and democratization in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) were instituted on 14 December 1995 by the Dayton Accords, which brought an end to the Bosnian War. While claiming their objectives to be reconciliation, democracy, and ethnic pluralism, the accords inscribed in law the ethnic partition between Bosnian Serbs, Croats, and Muslims by granting rights to "people" based on their identification as "ethnic collectivities." This powerful tension at the heart of "democratization" efforts has been central to what has transpired over the past 16 years. My account uses ethnographic methods and anthropological analysis to document how the ethnic emphasis of the local nationalist projects and international integration policies is working in practice to flatten the multilayered discourses of nationhood in BiH. As a result of these processes, long-standing notions of trans-ethnic nationhood in BiH lost their political visibility and potency. In this article I explore how trans-ethnic narod or nation(hood) - as a space of popular politics, cultural interconnectedness, morality, political critique, and economic victimhood - still lingers in the memories and practices of ordinary Bosnians and Herzegovinians, thus powerfully informing their political subjectivities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)259-275
Number of pages17
JournalNationalities Papers
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2013


  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Mostar
  • consociational democracy
  • narod
  • trans-ethnic nationhood

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • History
  • Political Science and International Relations


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