The Limits of “Ethnic War”: Intra-Group Violence and Resistance During the Bosnian War

Title: The Limits of “Ethnic War”: Intra-Group Violence and Resistance During the Bosnian War
Authors: Bozic, Gordana
Date: 2018-06-12
Abstract: The Bosnian war was not a purely “ethnic conflict,” as both in-group members and out-group members were sacrificed for the higher political objective, namely, ethnic homogenization of divided Bosnian territories. In particular, I argue the sacrifice of in-group members, especially those who lived on the out-territory, was integral to the violence directed against out-group members. The process of resettlement of the ethnic kin was just as important as the expulsion of the ethnic “other” for re-creating a new ethnic and political balance in select strategic areas. Furthermore, the practice of the appropriation of existing and the creation of new parallel state structures were the main mechanisms of the process of the sacrifice of in-group members from the out-territory. In turn, nationalist narratives were constructed not only to justify those new structures, but also to portray ethnic minorities as potentially dangerous and threatening. In order to complete ethnic homogenization, Bosnian nationalists directly targeted the private household, expelling Bosnians from their homes and appropriating and destroying their private property. I argue that violence against the household rendered the private sphere political. In the second part of the thesis, I reflect on actions and words of ordinary Bosnians, both in-group and out-group members, who resisted violence and helped each other during the war. In particular, I argue that although the lack of basic needs brought Bosnians of different ethnicities together, a long-term result of this necessity-driven action was political: the restoration of their citizenship and the preservation of their community at the local level for after the war.
CollectionThèses, 2011 - // Theses, 2011 -
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