Ethno-nationalism and Political Conflict in Bosnia (Europe)

  • Aleksandra ZdebEmail author
Reference work entry


Already in the medieval period, Bosnia and Herzegovina took on a specific multicultural and multiethnic shape that has been formed and strengthened throughout the following centuries. The unique composition of the country that consists of three groups, Bošniaks, Croats, and Serbs, should not only be enumerated among the elements that influenced the 1992–1995 war but also defined the post-conflict processes of state and peace building. This means that ethnicity and nationalism remain the main elements that define Bosnian politics, its political arena, and, inevitably, political conflict. This chapter aims at showing the ethnicized reality of the Bosnian state from three interconnected perspectives: historical, institutional, and, last but not least, cultural one oriented toward political parties. Consequently, the first one briefly introduces formation of the groups and relations between them; the subsequent two focus on the postwar politics and explain the specifics of power-sharing institutions and political parties. It shows that, in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the ethnicity versus political conflict equation comprises another variable – power-sharing (or, in other words, classical consociationalism) which should be seen not only as a conflict management tool but also a building block of the post-conflict system.


Bosnia and Herzegovina Consociationalism Political parties in Bosnia and Herzegovina Political system of Bosnia and Herzegovina Situational definition of ethnicity 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Southeast European Studies of the University of GrazUniversity of GrazGrazAustria

Section editors and affiliations

  • Paul Carnegie
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Government, Development & International AffairsThe University of the South PacificSuvaFiji

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