Mountain militarism and urban modernity: Balkanism, identity and the discourse of urban-rural cleavages during the Bosnian War

Author: 
Date created: 
2017-01-11
Identifier: 
etd9982
Keywords: 
Discourse
Balkanism
Bosnia
Civil war
Orientalism
Urban-rural.
Abstract: 

Recent years have witnessed a growth in research addressing the ways in which policymakers, academics and the media characterized the Bosnian war of the 1990s using a variety of problematic discursive frames. However, there has been relatively little scholarship exploring how the conflict was often portrayed as a battle between innocent urban centres and an antagonistic countryside. This thesis uses a discourse analysis of Western and Bosnian textual material to argue that perceptions of the Bosnian war have been characterized by a discourse that attributes the violence to cleavages between urban Bosnians and their rural counterparts. Moreover, this thesis engages with post-colonial theory to demonstrate that this discourse of urban-rural cleavages, in which Western and Bosnian urban self-identity was constructed in opposition to the supposed atavism of the Bosnian countryside, is an advancement of Bakic-Hayden’s concept of “nesting Orientalisms.” The results of this thesis problematize a common representation of the conflict, expand the concept of nesting Orientalism and help us to understand why urban participation in the ideologies and violence of the Bosnian conflict has often gone unexamined.

Document type: 
Thesis
Rights: 
This thesis may be printed or downloaded for non-commercial research and scholarly purposes. Copyright remains with the author.
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Jeffrey Checkel
Department: 
Arts and Social Sciences: School for International Studies
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.
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