Democracy & Post-Conflict Politics in Bosnia
When making coffee in Bosnia, the saying goes that you should always expect an unexpected guest, and therefore always pour an extra cup. This attitude of welcoming unexpected guests really resonates for our group as we navigated ethnic tensions, asking difficult questions, and exploring sensitive topics. As part of the Project on Peacebuilding, we felt as though Bosnia welcomed us in and pulled up an extra seat at the table.
This report is designed to collate the growth, knowledge, and first-hand research from Most Mira’s Project on Peacebuilding. Through interviews, lectures, discussions, a community survey, and personal conversations, this report explores some of our findings from our week in Kevljani. First, we describe the site visits in Omarska, Trnopolje, Kozarac, Kevljani, Ljubija, and Prijedor. Second, we present the findings of the 2017 community survey. Third, we go in-depth in a case study about segregation in schools. Finally, we conclude with reflections and quotations from POP participants.
It was important to have a mixture of Bosnian and international participants on the course to have a variety of opinions and gain first-hand insight from those who have grown up here. Some were Bosnians who live in the area, while others were diaspora. Some came from further afield, flying in from Hungary, Britain, and Spain among others. This report was written collaboratively and co-authored by all the participants contributing their thoughts on the course, site visits, specific conversations or questions, as well as analysing larger topics or ideas.
The ethnic tensions deeply ingrained in Bosnia only serve as a reminder that learning is a continual process, and that one of the greatest things we can offer each other is simply to sit down, have a cup of coffee, and listen.
“Project on Peacebuilding 2017: Democracy & Post-Conflict Politics in Bosnia” – Download the full report: PDF.