Dealing with the Past in the Context of Ethnonationalism

TitleDealing with the Past in the Context of Ethnonationalism
Publication TypeBook
Subtitle / Series TitleThe Case of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia - Berghof Occasional Paper
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsFranovic, I
VolumeNo. 29
Number of Pages59 pp.
PublisherBerghof Conflict Research
ISBN Number978-3-927783-92-8; ISSN 1432-4016
Accession Number1170

This paper offers an extensive analysis of the potentials and obstacles for peacebuilding processes in the triangle Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia. The author convincingly argues that facing the past presents an indispensable precondition for sustainable peace in the region of former Yugoslavia. After outlining the different forms and extents of human suffering during the wars in former Yugoslavia, the author pinpoints ethnonationalism as one of the main causes for the armed conflicts in the region. Current concepts of peacebuilding and reconciliation are highlighted against the background of war and postwar realities. Furthermore, the author accurately elaborates initiatives of transitional justice and dealing with the past in the region, revealing obstacles, encouraging results and future challenges on governmental and non-governmental levels. Based on these insights, the author concludes her study with a set of suggestions for future actions and processes requisite for a lasting peace in ex-Yugoslavia which include public acknowledgement, deconstruction of the myth of ethnic war, reconstructing identities and de-victimisation. According to the author, such overwhelming challenges can only be mastered if alliances for peacebuilding between all relevant actors on state and societal level are formed.

Full Text