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Sarajevo - a border city caught between its multicultural past, the Bosnian war and a European future

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Troncotă, Miruna

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Abstract The analysis is devoted to the city of Sarajevo and its turbulent history as being an illustrative case for how political borders have been symbolically reconstructed on ethnic lines in the Balkans for the last five centuries. Key historical periods such as the Austro-Hungarian period, the Kingdom of Yugoslavia and next the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the Olympic Games, the war and the Dayton Peace Agreement including its aftermath shall be discussed in turn. Some of the most significant events that have shaped the history of the 20th century have directly marked the city of Sarajevo and they tackle some of the most intricate issues that dominate European history as a whole such as national belonging, political ideologies, and religious beliefs. Several milestones can be traced in this regard: the beginning of the first World War, the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, the second World War, Tito's political vision and the prosperous era of socialist Yugoslavia, the dissolution of Yugoslavia and violent ethnic war, the period of peace building and post-conflict reconstruction which is still ongoing. The aim of the study is to analyse the events and patterns which might have contributed to changes in Bosnia and Herzegovina’s capital city. The main argument that the analysis tries to put forward is that the post-conflict Sarajevo's governance structure has maintained and institutionalised the ethnic divisions and political differences in the country and city’s reality.
Keywords Bosnia and Herzegovina; town; historical development; multicultural society; cultural identity; ethnicity; Southeastern Europe
Classification General History; Area Development Planning, Regional Research
Free Keywords border city; Sarajevo
Document language English
Publication Year 2015
Page/Pages p. 119-138
Journal Eurolimes (2015) 19
Issue topic Border cities in Europe
ISSN 1841-9259
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Deposit Licence - No Redistribution, No Modifications