Faith-based Peace-building in Bosnia and Herzegovina: The Case of Islamic Leadership

Authored by: Önder Çetin

The Ashgate Research Companion to Religion and Conflict Resolution

Print publication date:  November  2012
Online publication date:  March  2016

Print ISBN: 9781409410898
eBook ISBN: 9781315613505
Adobe ISBN: 9781317041832


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Religions and religious actors have been the subject of several scholarly works published in the last fifteen years to examine the outburst and dynamics of the inter-communal conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina. 2 This was primarily due to the role of religions in drawing the boundaries of ethno-national identities in Bosnia and in the Balkans in general. Some of these works demonstrated the increasing visibility of religious actors in the public realm in the post-Tito era; others have interpreted their role as a part of nationalist political strategies (see Mojzes 1994, 1998; Perica 2002; Perić 1998; Powers 1996; Velikonja 2003). They have also been analyzed in relation to their increasing role in post-war Bosnia within the broader framework of peace-building initiatives (see, Goodwin 2006; Mojzes 1998; Mojzes; Swidler and Justenhoven (eds) 2003; Steele 1994, 1996, 1998, 2003; Little 2007; USIP 2003). For the second body of research, focusing on peace-building efforts, trust has generally been regarded as a crucial element for sustainable inter-communal relations. However, in general, religious affiliations have increasingly been considered as strengthening in-group trust while maintaining distrust towards ‘the other’ (Knack and Keefer 1997). An alternative, positive approach, on the other hand, concerned either a generalized presentation of religious actors (Winslow, 2002), or specific cases (Oršolić 1998; Steele 2003).

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