Goran Basic (Photographer  Haris Memija)

25 years after the terrible war – how should Bosnia and Herzegovina be able to heal?

In December this year, 25 years have passed since the Bosnian War ended. What were the mechanisms that started the war and triggered the genocide? How should people who have experienced a war in which neighbours from one day to another became bloody enemies learn how to live side by side again? These are some of the questions that Goran Basic, associate professor and senior lecturer at Linnaeus University, sheds light on in a new research article.

The article that Goran Basic has written together with Zlatan Delić from University of Tuzla in Bosnia-Herzegovina uses as its starting point northwestern Bosnia and Herzegovina 1992–1995 and focuses on challenges in the aftermath of the genocide during the Bosnian War. A war in which neighbours from one day to another became bloody enemies. Can Bosniaks, Croats, and Serbs live side by side again?

During the war, police forces and the Serbian army carried out countless mass executions, persecution and systematic rapes. Everything in order to expel and exterminate the non-Serb population in northwestern Bosnia and Herzegovina. More than 100,000 people died during the war and roughly 2.2 million were forced to flee. The war ended in August 1995 when NATO finally intervened.

 “Despite the fact that so many years have passed since the war ended, it is still denied in some parts of the world that what took place was actually genocide, which makes it more difficult for people to come together and heal”, says Basic.

In the article, the authors shed light on the interpersonal, psychological and psychosocial mechanisms behind the genocide during the Bosnian War. There is also a reasoning surrounding the challenge, and necessity, of managing and spreading knowledge about the genocide in a way that is as pedagogical, accessible, and historically correct as possible.

The authors stress the importance of a sound, critical and impartial pedagogy when constructing a new identity policy, to make it possible to co-exist in peace. The article deals with Bosnia-Herzegovina but the mechanisms behind the genocide, and the challenges that come after a war, can be applied also to other wars and genocides in history.   

Further information

Goran Basic is an associate professor in Sociology and a senior lecturer at the Department of Pedagogy and Learning at Linnaeus University.

Read about the article in DiVA

Download the article here

Link to photos (Photo credits to photographer Haris Memija)



Goran Basic, phone: +46470-70 89 59, email: goran.basic@lnu.se