For over a century, the Balkans has been a region of simmering tension,
sporadic violence and localised dissent. Lying as it does on the faultline
between the Ottoman and the Habsburg empires, the area was always destined
to be squeezed as one or other great power flexed its muscles. However,
this does not explain fully why the balance of power in the Balkan states
should consistently prove to be so volatile and why the region appears to
descend into chaos at the merest hint of regional instability.
Trouble in the Balkans
The worst outbreak of violence
erupted in Bosnia in 1992, following the disintegration of Yugoslavia.
There are many misconceptions about the war in Bosnia that followed. Although
over a decade has now passed, the causes and exact nature of the conflict
remain shrouded by popular myths and confusion. Many of the problems that
the region has faced since the end of war were due to fatal misunderstandings
of the situation: peace plans faltered and broke down time and again.
In this seminar, Sumantra Bose considers the conflict in Bosnia. He begins
by exploring the explosive historical legacy of the area and then, in
a series of interviews with Fathom, he addresses the central questions.
Was it a conflict over territory, religion or race? How could communities
which had apparently existed in peace clash so suddenly and with such
ferocity? Where exactly will the road to peace lead and, perhaps most
importantly, will the lessons of history be learned or will the twenty-first
century see yet more trouble in the Balkans?
- Session 1 A Zone of Violence?
Yugoslavia in Perspective
- Session 2 Bosnia: The Origins
of the Conflict
- Session 3 Untangling the Truth:
The War in Bosnia
- Session 4 Bosnia: Peace and Reconciliation
- Session 5 Building Bridges in
Mostar: Microcosm of a Conflict
the particular historical origins of the conflict in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
the various players in the conflict and their political and military
the various peace initiatives following the war, and their efficacy.
how the town of Mostar serves as a microcosm of the conflict in Bosnia.
and explode the myths and misconceptions surrounding the conflict
in the Balkans.
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