Reintegration of Local Communities Divided by Ethnic Conflict: Ethnically Mixed Municipalities in the Western Balkans

Original scientific paper

Petr Čermák ; Department of International Relations and European Studies, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic

Fulltext: english, pdf (9 MB) pages 191-229 cite

The paper presents findings from the research on the intensity and quality of local inter-ethnic relations in the sample of five ethnically mixed Bosniak-Croat-Serb municipalities in the Western Balkans region which were hit by the ethnic conflict in the 1990s. In each municipality, potential territorial, ideological and socio-economic cleavages are investigated. Directions of the identified cleavages are compared with the ethnic cleavage. Depending on the cross-cutting or reinforcing character of the recorded cleavages in relation to the ethnic structure, it is assessed how much of internal cohesion has been achieved among once belligerent ethnic groups in these unique microregions. Findings show that reinforcing cleavages prevail in all three dimensions, while cleavages cross-cutting the ethnic divisions are limited. While part of the reinforcing cleavages is inherited and naturally reflects the pre-war socio-political cleavages, others are directly caused by the war-time and postwar nationalist politics of ethnic homogenization and as such are potentially manageable through the peacebuilding process.

Ethnic Communities; Post-War Reconciliation; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Croatia; Inter-ethnic Relations

Hrčak ID: 177262