Comparative and International Perspectives
Edited by Jens Bartelson, Martin Hall and Jan Teorell
Chapter 7: Imagined states and clashing statebuilding processes in the Bosnian space
The state-building processes of the Western Balkans reveal that the construction of the state is often a contested and fluid process. Zooming in on the post-war space of Bosnia Herzegovina (BiH) we can study three clashing state-building projects and the interplay between war making, peace making and state making. By focusing on the ‘becoming’ of a state the continuities of state building are revealed. Conceptually, this chapter explores how states are socially constructed spaces, imagined and performed by those who perceive themselves as belonging to that state. Empirically, it investigates the state-building processes of Republika Srpska (RS) and Herceg-Bosna undertaken in parallel with the state building of BiH. It taps into the debate on the immaterial and material dimensions of state building and asks, through what imaginaries and performative practices does a state come into being? This sharpens our eyes to the imaginary quality of every state.
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