Love Thy Neighbor: Municipal-Level Patterns of Behavior in the Memory and Denial of the Bosnian Genocide

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2023

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Abstract

How can community-level observations in ethnically divided post-conflict zones explain local behavior towards the memory and denial of a genocide? Nearly 30 years after the end of the war and genocide of the targeted group of focus in this study (Bosnian Muslims, or Bosniaks), certain municipalities across Bosnia-Herzegovina (Bosnia), particularly in the Bosnian state entity of Republika Srpska, remain divided in favor of ethnic Bosnian Serbs and create a hostile social and political environment for Bosniaks. In this thesis, I seek to understand the social factors that explain the extremes of denial and memory of the Bosnian War’s concurrent genocide. I will focus on the case of the municipality of Prijedor in north-west Bosnia, where post-war behavior towards the war and genocide reflects the extreme changes and violence endured by the civilians of the municipality during the active conflict. I conclude that municipalities like Prijedor with long multicultural histories are more vulnerable to the conditions that destroy nations during genocides and ethnic-based conflict, and in the post-genocide era, memory and denial coexist and fight for a platform in the same social spaces.

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Baxley, Mia Olivia (2023). Love Thy Neighbor: Municipal-Level Patterns of Behavior in the Memory and Denial of the Bosnian Genocide. Master's thesis, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/27841.

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