Since the violent events of the Bosnian war and the revelations of ethnic cleansing that shocked the world in the early 1990s, Bosnia has become a metaphor for the new ethnic nationalisms, for the transformation of warfare in the post-Cold War era, and for new forms of peacekeeping and state-building. This book is unique in offering a re-examination of the Bosnian case with a 'bottom-up' perspective. It gathers together cultural anthropologists and other social scientists to consider the specificities of the Bosnian case. However, the book also raises broader questions: what are the consequences of internecine violence and how should societies attempt to overcome them? Are the uncertainties and the transformations of Bosnian post-war society due entirely to the war, or are they related to wider processes encompassing post-communist Europe as a whole? And are the difficulties experienced by international state-building operations mainly due to distinctive features of the local societies or are they due to the policies promoted by the international community itself?
Xavier Bougarel holds a PhD in Political Science and is Research Fellow at the Research Unit 'Ottoman and Turkish Studies' of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) in Paris. He has followed the political and religious situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina since the early 1990s and was, among others, an external consultant for the World Bank. He has also published widely on the transformation of Islam in the post-communist Balkans and on the anthropological history of violence in the region. Elissa Helms holds a PhD in Cultural Anthropology and is Assistant Professor of Gender Studies at the Central European University in Budapest. She began her engagement with Bosnians in the early-mid 1990s while working with refugees and local non-governmental organizations. For the past decade, she has been researching issues of women's activism, gender relations, and representations of gender, ethnicity and victimhood in post-war Bosnia and has published several papers and book chapters on these issues. Ger Duijzings holds a PhD in Anthropology and is Reader in the Anthropology of Eastern Europe at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES) in London. He is Head of the Department of East European Languages and Culture. He has published widely on issues of religion and identity in Kosovo, and was one of the authors of the Srebrenica report released in 2002 by the Netherlands Institute for War Documentation (NIOD). He was also a consultant for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). Ivana Macek, Anders Stefansson, Ioannis Armakolas, Hannes Grandits, Torsten Kolind, Ger Duijzings, Xavier Bougarel, Stef Jansen, Isabelle Delpla, Elissa Helms, Kimberley Coles, Larisa Jasarevic.