Perspectives Southeastern Europe #7: Narratives in the Balkans. In the Combat Zone

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The conflicts, social and political turmoils we have witnessed in the western Balkans in the last three decades were, in the minds of many leaders and participants, centred around collective identities whose differences allegedly could not be settled in a nonviolent way. And still, more then 20 years after the wars, patriarchal, homophobic and exclusive tendencies are dominating in the region, shaping a climate of intolerance, of exclusion, of the radical negation of all things humane and rational.


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Date of Publication
September 2018
Heinrich Böll Foundation Southeastern Europe
Number of Pages
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Table of contents


  • Foreword by Srđan Dvornik 
  • In the combat zone by Marion Kraske 

Life-shaping narratives

  • Understanding "strategic narratives" on the Balkans and its borders by Nermina Mujagić
  • How is the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina perceived in 2017? by Srđan Puhalo
  • How to come to terms with the concept of the Croatians as the triple victim of the past? by Stevo Đurašković 

A quest for alternatives

  • What is the civic option in Bosnia and Herzegovina? by Asim Mujkić
  • Antifascism, communism and the Yugoslavian national idea in the jaws of nationalism by Srđan Milošević
  • Transcending consociationalism: in support of civic Bosnia and Herzegovina Senada by Šelo Šabić
  • Majority, minority and political strategies in Bosnia and Herzegovina by Mate Subašić 

(In)Surmountable past

  • The taste of nationalism by Ildiko Erdei
  • Women – active participants in a passive role by Đurđa Knežević
  • Manipulating war crimes as a narrative used in everyday politics in BiH by Lejla Turčilo
  • The dominance of ethnic parties in Bosnia and Herzegovina will continue by Damir Kapidžić
  • The Hague tribunal – reconciliation on hold by Nemanja Stjepanović 

Changing narratives, changing histories

  • Dormant yet radiant history: memories of the First World War in the Republic of Macedonia by Petar Todorov
  • Historical revisionism by Erich Rathfelder
  • Collective glorification of individual guilt - it is their fault, not ours by Zarije Seizović
  • Fear and hate – the two edges of the same sword by Xhabir Memedi Deralla
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