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From nation-building to desecuritization in Bosnia and Herzegovina

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This article analyzes the value and impact of the nation building policy of the international community in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bosnia). The analysis shows that the nation building effort has failed in the sense that the ethnic nationalist political culture persisted and that a collective Bosnian identity is absent. Bosnian politics continued to be dominated by ethnic nationalist political parties and ethnic group interests. The author argues that this can be explained by the continued securitization of ethnic identity. In other words, each ethnic group regards its vital interests to be existentially threatened by the other ethnic group(s). Therefore, the author concludes that when it comes to inter-ethnic cooperation, achieving good and effective government in Bosnia is not so much about nationbuilding, but about de-securitizing ethnic relations.


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