Grassroots Narratives and Practices of Diversity in Mostar and Novi Sad
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Yugoslavia, as its name — “the country of South Slavs” — suggested, was a country whose very existence was based on the ideal of the value of diversity. Different South Slavic peoples and other ethnic groups living among them were to be equal constituents of the country. Despite this narrative, the country collapsed amid the tragic Yugoslav wars of the 1990s, which divided its people along ethnic lines. In the aftermath of the wars, the international community has sought to rebuild trust and dialogue across ethnic communities while supporting post-Yugoslav states’ transition to democracy. While “there is no single document that describes the democratic reconstruction model”, be it in the Western Balkans or elsewhere (Ottaway, 2003, p. 314), it is evident from international donor policies that the international community was “determined to make Bosnia into a multiethnic democratic state” (Ottaway, 2003, p. 320). The same holds true for other ethnically diverse areas of the Western Balkans.
KeywordsCivil Society Civic Activism Civil Society Actor Intergroup Contact Associational Life
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