1st Edition

Social Mobilization Beyond Ethnicity Civic Activism and Grassroots Movements in Bosnia and Herzegovina

By Chiara Milan Copyright 2020
    176 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    176 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

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    This book offers an in-depth investigation of the emergence and spread of social mobilizations that transcend ethnicity in societies violently divided along ethno-national lines. Using Bosnia Herzegovina as a case study, the book explores episodes of mobilization which have superseded ethno-nationalist cleavages.

    Bosnia Herzegovina emerged from the 1992–95 war brutally impoverished and deeply ethnically divided, representing a critical and strategic case for the examination and understanding of the dynamics of mobilization in such divided societies. Despite difficult circumstances for civic-based collective action, social mobilizations in the country have grown in size, number and intensity in recent years. Marked by citizen demand for accountable governance, responsive urbanism, and access to basic human rights, these protests have been driven by economic, social and political problems which cut across religious and ethnic divides. Examining the variation in spatial and social scale of contention, the book investigates movements’ formation, their organizational structures and networking strategies and advances research on divided societies and social movements.

    This volume will be of interest to scholars and researchers of Southeastern Europe and those examining political dissent, social movements and mobilization in divided societies, as well as practitioners in civil society, grassroots groups and political activists.

    Chapter 1: Researching Mobilization Beyond Ethnicity in Divided Societies. An Introduction

    Chapter 2: Understanding Mobilization Beyond Ethnicity in Divided Societies

    Chapter 3: Social Mobilization and Civic Activism In Bosnia And Herzegovina

    Chapter 4: "The Park Is Ours" Mobilization

    Chapter 5: The Baby Revolution

    Chapter 6: The 2014 Social Uprising

    Chapter 7: Conclusions


    Chiara Milan is Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellow at the Centre for Southeast European Studies of the University of Graz, Austria. She holds a PhD in Political and Social Sciences from the European University Institute. Prior to joining the Centre for Southeast European Studies, she worked at the Scuola Normale Superiore (Italy) and the Robert Schuman Center for Advanced Studies. Her research interests include social movements and contentious politics, nationalism, ethnicity, citizenship and migration, with a specific focus on Southeastern Europe. On these topics, she has published articles in journals and chapters in edited volumes.¿

    "Based on deep historical knowledge and a rich ethnographic analysis of protests in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Chiara Milan convincingly demonstrates that, in ethnically divided society, social movements mobilizing for social justice might help the (re)building of shared collective identities." – Donatella della Porta, Scuola Normale Superiore Firenze, Italy.

    "During pessimistic thoughts on my country, I can see only divided society transcending into the three separated communities and no force to bridge the divide. During less depressing observations, I also see the potential for ethnicity to be marginalized. This dichotomy exists in Bosnia-Herzegovina, but a question remains who and what makes social mobilization beyond ethnicity possible? Chiara Milan’s book is an excellent starting point in the quest to find out." – Neven Andelic, Regent’s University London, UK.

    "The book offers an important insight into how social movements mobilize in multinational societies, such as Bosnia and Herzegovina. Through multiple waves of protests, citizens have come together, disregarding the rigid national division that has characterized post-war politics. Chiara Milan carefully shows when and how such a social movements became possible and what their limitations have been. It is an excellent study informed by careful research and a sympathetic, yet critical, analysis of inclusive social movements in a critical context such as Bosnia." - Florian Bieber, University of Graz, Austria.

    "Milan’s book fills a significant empirical and conceptual gap in the extant scholarship. It engages with a key theme in the contentious politics literature: how does a momentum for change build, what legacies are passed from action to action, activist to activist? In this case, the focus is the emergence of non-ethnicised social movement activism in post-war Bosnia-Herzegovina – a more fascinating and relevant case study is hard to imagine." - Adam Fagan, King’s College London, UK.