University of Sussex
Djolai, Maria.pdf (4.56 MB)

When the rooftops became red again: post-war community dynamics in Bosnia and Herzegovina

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posted on 2023-06-09, 03:45 authored by Marija Djolai
My thesis explores post-war community formation following the civil war in Bosnia and Herzegovina (1992-1995), the deadliest European violent conflict since WWII. The study draws on 18 months of fieldwork and mixed methods data collection in two small towns, Stolac in Southern Herzegovina and Kotor Varoš in Northern Bosnia, which were exposed to intense violence. The thesis uses the concept of community as analytical optic to avoid ethnic “groupism” perspective, which so often obscures the complexity of social relations and the dynamics of communal life in Bosnia-Herzegovina. It understands community as a place and social relations, and also the psychological sense of community. The thesis argues that while these combined forms of violence lead to community loss, a psychological sense of community among the members is maintained, and plays an important role in post-war community formation. The thesis shows that post-war community formation is not a linear process but a dynamic one, which occurs at different levels of the communal social organization. By exploring daily life and historical narratives of the violence in two different post-war communities, the thesis makes a case that community formation is primarily a localized process, which has a way of bypassing ethnonationalist hegemonies. It makes and original contribution by focusing both on the social interactions and creating a space through interactions between the place and the social in the new community emerges through everyday life.


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  • Institute of Development Studies Theses

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  • doctoral

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  • eng


University of Sussex

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