Clinging to a barbed wire fence: the language policy of the international community in Bosnia-Herzegovina since 1995
Askew, Louise (2011) Clinging to a barbed wire fence: the language policy of the international community in Bosnia-Herzegovina since 1995. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.
This study takes one aspect of the post-conflict peace-building process in Bosnia- Herzegovina since 1995 - the recognition of three official but mutually comprehensible languages - and examines the way in which the international community's approach to it has impacted on broader peacebuilding goals for the country. The originality of this thesis lies in the fact that it views post-conflict peace-building in Bosnia-Herzegovina through the lens of the language issue. Taking the Dayton Peace Agreement (1995) as the starting point I look at the way in which its provisions have largely dictated the international community's approach to the language issue and created the political environment in which language operates. Further, applying the concept of societal security I explain how the language issue is used by domestic elites to frustrate attempts at reconciliation by the international community; I argue that the international community's approach, based on the equality of the three languages, only feeds into the divisive ethnic politics of present-day Bosnia-Herzegovina and ultimately undermines the security and stability of the country.
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