It has been 27 years since the end of the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the history of the conflict, its consequences, and long-term implications for the politics and lives of its citizens has remained a source of interest for scholars across the globe and across disciplines. This scholarship has included works by historians and political scientists seeking to explain the war’s origins with a view to Bosnia’s traditional multi-ethnic character and background. The country has been used as a case study in state- and peace-building, as well as to study the implications of ongoing transitional justice processes. Other scholars within the fields of human rights and genocide studies have focused on documenting the war crimes committed against the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina during the conflict and the mass-scale displacement of people, mostly Bosnian Muslims, from their homes and homelands. International law scholars have carried this work further, tracing the development of courts created in response to war crimes in Bosnia and their effectiveness in generating justice for victims.
Diaspora communities have formed in North America (especially in St. Louis), Europe, and Australia because of war and displacement, and have themselves become a considerable topic of study spanning the disciplines of anthropology, migration studies, political science, memory studies, conflict and security studies, psychology, and geography.
This volume seeks to illuminate how Bosnian migrant and diaspora scholars are contributing to the development of Bosnian Studies. The authors included in this volume are either writing from their (new) home bases in Australia, Austria, Canada, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States, among others, or they have returned to Bosnia after a period of migration. Their chapters have distinct entry points of inquiry, demonstrating how scholars have integrated Bosnia as a theme across the range of disciplines in which they are situated. The selections included in the volume range from literary analysis to personal memoirs of the conflict, from studies of heritage and identity to political science analysis of diaspora voting, to genocide studies and questions of (or lack of) ethics in the growing field of Bosnian Studies.
About the Author
Dženeta Karabegović is a researcher at the University of Salzburg. Her research interests are rooted in international and comparative political sociology with a focus on transnationalism, diaspora, migration, democratization, human rights, transitional justice, and the Balkans. She has consulted for local and international organizations on diasporas and development, returnees, education, and civil society. Karabegović has published in multiple peer-reviewed academic journals and co-edited two volumes, including Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Foreign Policy Since Independence.
Adna Karamehić-Oates is director of the Center for Bosnians Studies at Fontbonne University. She is also a Senior Program Officer at Open Government Partnership, where she supports the cross-team efforts to mobilize coalitions, strengthen partnerships, and provide knowledge resources and technical support to OGP governments, civil society, and other stakeholders who leverage OGP to advance reforms in priority thematic sectors. Before joining OGP, Karamehić-Oates spent 11 years at the Open Society Foundations in Washington, D.C., in program management and advocacy roles focusing on central and eastern Europe. She holds a PhD in Globalization and Governance from Virginia Tech University.
“The cruelty of war, the horror of genocide, and the suffering of displacement ruptured Bosnian society. This volume gathers together studies specifically by Bosnian scholars on that rupture and its aftermath. It examines a Bosnia that is local, in-between and global, a society scarred by war legacies but resilient, a culture enriching the world as it writes through its experiences. These are Bosnian studies for us all.”—Gerard Toal, Virginia Tech, Co-author of Bosnia Remade: Ethnic Cleansing and Its Reversal
“This is an outstanding collection of thoughtful and deeply researched essays on diaspora, ethnicity, and politics in the contemporary Balkans. The volume stands as a very valuable synthesis of interdisciplinary scholarship that outlines and expands what ‘Bosnian Studies’ means today.” —Edin Hajdarpasic, Associate Professor of History, Loyola University Chicago, author of Whose Bosnia? Nationalism and Political Imagination in the Modern Balkans
“Karabegovic and Karamehic-Oates make a compelling, if not obvious case for the emergent scholarly field in Bosnian Studies. Ironically, without the tragic and violent breakup of the former Yugoslavia, 'Bosnian Studies' as a concept may have never emerged. Genocide and the study of human rights are indeed a cornerstone to the establishment of this field of research distinctively intertwined with the study of diaspora experiences in all its realms. Bosnian Studies also makes a case for scholarly research in this burgeoning field through the lens of sociology, anthropology and psychology, which has been thus far dominated by political scientists and historians.”—Tanya Domi, Columbia University and the former Spokesperson of the OSCE Mission to BiH
“Speaking as a genocide studies scholar, I found this collection of essays brilliant, beautifully written, and unlike anything I have ever read.”—Douglas Irvin-Erickson, George Mason University, author of Raphaël Lemkin and the Concept of Genocide
“Using a multitude of different methodologies, positionalities, scales, themes, and voices, the contributors to Bosnian Studies each uniquely show what an academic and personal commitment to a place—Bosnia and Herzegovina—looks like, feels like, and moves like.”—Azra Hromadžić, Syracuse University, author of Citizens of an Empty Nation: Youth and State-Making in Postwar Bosnia-Herzegovina