Why Ethnic Nationalism Still Rules Bosnia, and Why It Could Get Worse | The Nation
In the neighboring Bosnia and Herzegovina, war broke out earlier, in , until ethnic nationalist myths and ideologies had been incorporated in church . the two largest churches clashed over their legal status and relations with the state. Chapter Two: How History Shaped Ethnic Identity in BiH. Geography .. build our relations in the physical world around us. The creation Nationalism: the belief that one's own group should be politically autonomous (16). War soon consumed the region, as ethnic nationalists within Bosnia and . The major cultural difference between them is that of religious origin.
The best example of what happens when someone tries to push against the nationalist nature of the Bosnian system is the victory of Zeljko Komsic for the tripartite presidency. Self-defining as Croat, he has often claimed that he sees his background as just a formality.
His mother was of Serbian descent, his father is a Croat, and he was baptized in a Catholic church. His wife is Bosniak. So while he did run as a Croat candidate, Komsic has over the years had strong support from the Bosniak community in the federation, though this support has not come without criticism of his capabilities as a politician. This is no more apparent than during the quadrennial elections. The head of the government in Zagreb showed his support for Covic by visiting him during the election campaign.
The Vecernji List headline is an example of some of the racist epithets the various ethnic groups use to describe one another. These nationalisms play off of, and reinforce, one another.
Dodik, meanwhile, of the Alliance of Independent Social Democrats, has morphed into a seemingly unstoppable one-man Serb-nationalist machine. He is now widely seen as the most hate-mongering politician of the post-Yugoslav era, with a propensity for headline-grabbing statements.
Dodik was once the ray of hope in a Republika Srpska dominated by parties that had led the war front in Bosnia and committed countless atrocities with the most brazen example perhaps being Serb Democratic Party founder Radovan Karadzic, who was convicted of genocide and crimes against humanity. He might also be the most pro-Kremlin politician in the western Balkans; Dodik publicly supports the Kremlin on a number of issues.
Its roots, rather, are at an air force base outside of Dayton, Ohio.
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
A bevy of compromises were made to stop the war: All sides conceded in areas they would have preferred not to, and all sides agreed, however grudgingly, on a complicated system meant to stop the fighting and keep it from starting up again. The Republika Srpska largely corresponds to territory held by Bosnian Serbs at the end of the war, and the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina is rooted in the Washington Agreement, which stopped fighting between Bosniaks and Bosnian Croats. The Dayton Agreement set up a system of ethnic-based power-sharing at almost all levels of government: However byzantine the structure seemed, Dayton achieved its immediate goal: It ended the war and kept Bosnia at peace.
Ironically, though, this peace has come at a price. For one, says international human-rights lawyer Gorana Mlinarevic, a system created by powerful men during a war has become, not surprisingly, a system that continues to benefit powerful men and keeps them in charge.
While some in Bosnia will try to convince you otherwise, and insist that they all speak different languages and that their respective nations have very different historical origins, the only notable difference between the three groups is religion. In the post-Dayton era, however, as Bosnians have been pushed further into their sectarian molds, religion has come to play an increasing role in their lives, whether Muslim, Orthodox Christian, or Catholic.
Identity manifests itself in Bosnia in some downright absurd ways. For one, dozens of schools in the federation are still segregated, with students from one group attending different parts of the school or, in some cases, attending the same school but at different times to avoid mixing. Amela Pokvic, a recent university graduate in Sarajevo, described her hometown of Gornji Vakuf, roughly equally split between Bosniaks and Bosnian Croats.
As a Bosniak, even one living on a street with mostly Bosnian Croat neighbors, she and her Bosniak classmates studied downstairs while her Croat friends studied a different curriculum upstairs. The weather in the Bosnia region resembles that of the southern Austrian highlands—generally mild, though apt to be bitterly cold in winter. During January and February Banja Luka receives the least amount of precipitation, and in May and June it experiences the heaviest rainfall.
Herzegovina has more affinity to the Croatian region of Dalmatiawhich can be oppressively hot in summer. Mostar experiences a relatively dry season from June to September. The remainder of the year is wet, with the heaviest precipitation between October and January. Plant and animal life About two-fifths of the country is forested with pine, beech, and oak. Fruits are common; among them are grapes, apples, pears, and especially plums. People Ethnic groups and religions Bosnia and Herzegovina is home to members of numerous ethnic groups.
The three largest are the Bosniaksthe Serbsand the Croats. Continuing efforts by the international community to promote the return of persons forcibly displaced during the Bosnian conflict —95 to their original homes, as well as domestic political sensitivities, blocked the conduct of a census well into the 21st century. Nevertheless, it is estimated that Bosniaks constitute more than two-fifths, Serbs roughly one-third, and Croats less than one-fifth of the population.
The three groups share the same South Slav heritage. The major cultural difference between them is that of religious origin or affiliation—a difference that may be explained in part by the legacy of the Ottoman Empirewhich allowed autonomous religious communities to coexist under its rule.
The Ottoman Empire was succeeded by Austria-Hungarywhich took control in A sense of nationalism later developed among Bosnian Muslims as well.
The role of religion within all three populations was elevated by the demise of communism, the revival of nationalism in the wake of Yugoslav disintegration, and the violence of the war. Nevertheless, attendance at church and mosque services continues to be low. There are some minor regional variations in pronunciation and vocabulary, but all variations spoken within Bosnia and Herzegovina are more similar to one another than they are to, for example, the speech of Belgrade Serbia or Zagreb Croatia.
A Latin and a Cyrillic alphabet exist, and both have been taught in schools and used in the press, but the rise of nationalism in the s prompted a Serb alignment with Cyrillic and a Croat and Bosniak alignment with the Latin alphabet. Settlement patterns More than one-half of the population is rural. The arid plateaus in the southern region are less populated than the more hospitable central and northern zones.
Villages are of variable size. Houses are either of an old, small, steep-roofed variety or of a larger, multistoried, modern type.
Williamson, London An urban-rural divide is a significant part of Bosnian culturewith urbanites tending to view villagers as primitives and villagers often being defensive about this view.
Bosnia and Herzegovina | Facts, Geography, History, & Maps | yogaua.info
Young villagers are frequently anxious to move to town. This shift particularly affected the economic and industrial centres of SarajevoBanja LukaZenica, Tuzlaand Mostararound which sprawling suburbs of apartment blocks were built. Traditional settlement patterns were disrupted by the postindependence war, with the population of many cities swelled by refugees.
Certain areas of the country contained high concentrations of Serb, Croat, or Bosniak inhabitants, while in others there was no overall ethnic majority or only a very small one.
Towns were ethnically mixed. Many larger villages also were mixed, although, in some of these, members of different ethnic groups tended to live in different quarters.
Most smaller villages were inhabited by only one group. Much of the violence of the postindependence war had the aim of creating ethnic purity in areas that once had a mixture of peoples.
In addition to killing thousands, this ethnic cleansing displaced about half the population of Bosnia and Herzegovina either within its borders or abroad. Estimates suggest that hundreds of thousands of displaced persons eventually returned to their prewar homes, but a significant portion of the displaced population resettled in areas where they were among the majority ethnic group. By the early 21st century, however, the birth rate had declined, the death rate had climbed, and the natural rate of increase had fallen below zero.
The —95 war had radically altered the demographic situation.
Religion in the Balkan Wars - Oxford Handbooks
Of the hundreds of thousands of people displaced during the war, a significant portion of them emigrated. Economy As a republic of the Yugoslav federation, Bosnia and Herzegovina adhered to the unique economic system known as socialist self-management. Huge increases in the price of oil, falling imports and exports, hyperinflation, shortages of food and medicine, insolvent banks, and unpaid pensions all resulted in a swelling black marketor informal economy.
In addition, the —95 war see Bosnian conflict caused widespread destruction. International financial organizations were heavily involved in the postwar reconstruction of the economy.
Religion in the Balkan Wars
As a result, inflation fell, exports increased and were diversified, and the gross domestic product GDP experienced growth, at least until a global financial crisis began in However, privatization was contentious and remains incomplete. Moreover, the number of workers in the informal sector and the unemployment rate both remain stubbornly high.
Remittances from Bosnians working abroad continue to be a significant source of income. Agriculture, forestry, and fishing Bosnia and Herzegovina is a significant agricultural region, with some one-third of its land under cultivation or in pasture. The most fertile soils are in the north, along the Sava River valley. In hillier areas, land is employed for both cultivation and grazing.
Principal crops include corn maizepotatoes, wheat, plums, cabbages, and apples. In Herzegovina and in the more sheltered areas of Bosnia, tobacco is grown.
Sheep are the major livestock, although cattle and pigs are raised, and apiculture is practiced. With about two-fifths of the country forested, timber, as well as furniture and other wood products, have been important exports.
Fishing potential is increasingly exploited. Power and resources Bosnia and Herzegovina has reserves of iron ore around Banja Luka and in the Kozara Mountains, bauxite near Mostarand lignite and bituminous coal in the regions around SarajevoZenica, Tuzlaand the Kozara Mountains. Zinc, mercury, and manganese are present in smaller quantities. Forests of pine, beech, and oak provide a source of timber. The country possesses considerable hydroelectric potential; there are several hydroelectric and thermal power plants.
In the wake of the war, however, the country struggled to reinvigorate industrial production. Metal manufactures, iron and steel, sawn wood and wood products, food, and textiles are among the products produced in various parts of the country. Finance, trade, and services The Dayton Accords created a largely autonomous central bankwhich has sole authority over monetary policy and the issuing of currency.
The national currency, the convertible marka konvertibilna marka; KMis pegged to the euro. After the war, fiscal consolidation was strong, and most banks are now privately owned. Foreign direct investment was substantial in the early 21st century, but foreign investors faced serious obstacles, including a complex legal and regulatory framework, less than transparent business procedures, and a weak judiciary.
Labour and taxation The largest portion of the labour force is engaged in services, followed respectively by manufacturing and agriculture. Labour unions have been largely fragmented and weak in the postwar economy.
The individual income tax rate in both entities is relatively low. Other taxes include corporate tax, property taxand value-added tax. Transportation and telecommunications The major obstacle to transportation in Bosnia and Herzegovina has always been the mountainous topography.