On the Other Side of an Ethnocratic State? LGBT Activism in Post-Dayton Bosnia and Herzegovina

Part of the Palgrave Studies in European Political Sociology book series (PSEPS)


Operating inside the complex state apparatus that has been constructed in a way which perpetuates ethnic divisions, LGBT activism in BiH has to face the relatively uninformed and homophobic public, on the one hand, and the poorly coordinated state institutions that are often not accountable to the citizens whom they are supposed to represent and protect, on the other. Sexual matters in the still highly patriarchal BiH socio-political context struggle to find a way out of religious doctrines and nationalist agendas. As the country’s political deadlock regarding its integration into the EU provides little hope for a meaningful improvement of the current state of political and economic affairs, LGBT advocacy could hold a certain creative potential to, in cooperation with other progressive forces, imagine a different—non-ethnocratic—kind of BiH polity.


Sexual Minority Hate Crime Hate Speech Ethnic Division LGBT Community 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Arsenijević, D. (2014a, February 28). After 22 years of being bullied Bosnians are desperate, and must protest. The Guardian. Retrieved from
  2. Arsenijević, D. (Ed.) (2014b). Unbribable Bosnia and Herzegovina: The fight for the commons. Baden-Baden, Germany: Nomos.Google Scholar
  3. Behlulović, M. (2011). The inconstituent peoples of Q: Reasons behind the invisibility of sexual minorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Master’s thesis defended at the University of Bologna and the University of Sarajevo.Google Scholar
  4. Belloni, R. & Strazzari, F. (2014). Corruption in post-conflict Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo: A deal among friends. Third World Quarterly, 35, 855–871.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bourdieu, P. (2002). Masculine domination. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Brah, A. & Phoenix, A. (2004). Ain’t I a woman? Revisiting intersectionality. Journal of International Women’s Studies, 5, 75–86.Google Scholar
  7. Brljavac, B. (2010). A Europeanization without democratization: The case study of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Master’s thesis defended at Lund University.Google Scholar
  8. Brljavac, B. (2012, April 25). Bosnia and Herzegovina and Europeanization: Between ethnic-national and European identities. Open Democracy. Retrieved from
  9. Čaušević, J. (2013). Numbers of life: Analysis of the results of the research on needs of LGBT community in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina: Sarajevo Open Centre.Google Scholar
  10. Sarajevo Open Centre (2013). Političke partije i LGBT osobe—koje to stranke podržavaju LGBT osobe i njihova prava? Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina: Author.Google Scholar
  11. Council of Europe. (2008). Commissioner for Human Rights. Report by the Commissioner for Human Rights Mr Thomas Hammarberg on his visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina. Retrieved from
  12. Dani Magazine. (2013). Parada ponosa u Sarajevu? Zašto da ne? Retrieved from
  13. Dani Magazine. (2014, August 1). I refuse to accept that there is no way to change things in this country. Retrieved from
  14. Đikić, N. (2014). Je li moguća parada ponosa u BiH? Retrieved from
  15. Đurković, S. (2007). Nevidljivo Q? Pitanje ljudskih prava i potreba LGBTIQ osoba u Bosni i Hercegovini. Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina: Organisation Q.Google Scholar
  16. FENA-Federalna novinska agencija. (2014). Terry Reintke: Moguće je organizovanje Parade ponosa u BiH. Retrieved from
  17. Gordy, E. (2015). Bosnian protests and plenums. Retrieved from
  18. Grew, T. (2008). Amnesty calls on authoirities to protect Bosnian gay festival. Pink News. Retrieved from
  19. Hadžić, I., Vasić, V., Gavrić, S., Selanec, G., Hanušić, A., Bošnjak, E., et al. (2015). Ka efikasnoj zaštiti od diskriminacije: Prijedlog za izmjene i dopune Zakona o zabrani diskriminacije BiH. Zajednički prijedlog Agencije za ravnopravnost spolova BiH i Sarajevskog otvorenog centra. Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina: Sarajevo Open Centre & Agency for Gender Equality BiH.Google Scholar
  20. ILGA-EUROPE. (2014). Review of the human rights situation of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex people in Bosnia and Herzegovina: Contribution to the 2014EC Progress report. Retrieved from
  21. Isović, M. (2015). Parada ponosa je neophodna u BiH, bez obzira da li je društvo spremno ili ne. Retrieved from
  22. Ivanov, G. (2015). Svetlana Đurković: Queer aktivizam, trovanje sistemom i BiH kao patološki depresivan pacijent. Retrieved from
  23. Kahlina, K. (2014). Local histories, European LGBT designs: Sexual citizenship, nationalism and “Europeanisation” in post-Yugoslav Croatia and Serbia. Women’s Studies International Forum, 49, 73–83.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Pandurević, D., Bošnjak, E., & Kučukalić, N. (2015). Political parties and the human rights of LGBT people: Monitoring of the general election 2014. Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina: Sarajevo Open Centre.Google Scholar
  25. Pilegaard, L., & Džumhur, J. (2015). Human rights shortcomings of the Dayton Peace Agreement. Forced Migration Review, 50. Retrieved from
  26. Popov-Momčinović, Z. (2013a). “Ko smo mi da sudimo drugima?”Ispitivanje javnog mnijenja o stavovima prema homoseksualnosti i transrodnosti u Bosni i Hercegovini. Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina: Heinrich Böll Foundation, Foundation CURE and Sarajevo Open Centre.Google Scholar
  27. Popov-Momčinović, Z. (2013b). Ženski pokret u Bosni i Hercegovini: Artikulacija jedne kontrakulture. Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina: Sarajevo Open Centre/Centar za empirijska istraživanja religije u Bosni i Hercegovini/Foundation CURE.Google Scholar
  28. Queer Sarajevo Festival. (2008). Official web page. Retrieved from
  29. Sarajevo Open Centre, Fond Otvoreno Društvo Bosne i Hercegovine. (2014). Recommendations to BiH Institutions on the protection of LGBT human rights based of the first regional LGBT conference Advancing the human rights of LGBT people in the Western Balkans.Google Scholar
  30. Šavija-Valha, N. (2012). Beyond peacebuilding assistance in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In B. Bilić & V. Janković (Eds.), Resisting the evil: (Post-)Yugoslav anti-war contention (pp. 243–263). Baden-Baden, Germany: Nomos.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Slootmaeckers, K., & Touquet, H. (2013a). Old habits die hard? The Western Balkans and the Europeanisation of LGBT Rights. Paper presented at the 20th International Conference of Europeanists (25–27 June 2013), University of Amsterdam.Google Scholar
  32. Slootmaeckers, K., & Touquet, H. (2013b). EU enlargement: Boost or barrier for LGBT rights? Retrieved from
  33. Spahić, A. & Gavrić, S. (Eds.) (2012). Čitanka LGBT ljudskih prava. Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina: Sarajevo Open Centre and Heinrich Böll Stiftung Office in BiH.Google Scholar
  34. Spahić-Šiljak, Z. (2013). Women, religion and politics in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In E. C. Linell & T. Fessenden (Eds.), Religion, the secular, and the politics of sexual difference (pp. 121–137). New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  35. The Initiative for the monitoring of European Union Integration of Bosnia and Herzegovina. (2015). Shadow report on the progress of Bosnia and Herzegovinas European Union accession process. Retrieved from
  36. Touquet, H. (2011). Multi-ethnic parties in Bosnia-Herzegovina: Naša stranka and the paradoxes of postethnic politics. Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism, 3, 451–467.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Touquet, H. (2012). The Republika Srpska as a strong nationalizing state and the consequences for postethnic activism. Nationalities Papers, 40, 203–220.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Touquet, H. (2015). Non-ethnic mobilisation in deeply divided societies: The case of the Sarajevo protests. Europe-Asia Studies, 67, 388–408.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Turčilo, L. (2012). Bosnia-Herzegovina and the European Union: Strong European identity in spite of scepticism. Retrieved from
  40. Živković, A. (2014, February 10). The peoplee’s uprising: A break with Dayton’s Bosnia. Left East. Retrieved from

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Sarajevo/University of BolognaSarajevoBosnia and HerzegovinaItaly

Personalised recommendations