Publication details

Minority refugee return as a tool to reverse ethnic cleansing : the case of Bosnia and Herzegovina



Year of publication 2018
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Forum for Security Studies
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Social Studies

Web článek
Keywords Minority Return; Refugees; IDPs; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Ethnic Cleansing
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Description In the post-war Bosnia and Herzegovina, the internationally administered peacebuilding process stressed minority refugee return as an unprecedented tool for reversing outcomes of the war-time massive ethnic cleansings. This paper utilizes newly available statistical data to systematically assess the actual impact of the minority return process on the post-conflict demography of the country in regard to its intended goal of restoring its ethnic heterogeneity. By comparison of the 2013 census data to the pre-war demographic figures it is uncovered to what extent has the refugee return succeeded in reversing the ethnic cleansing of 1990s. Findings reveal significant group-related and regional differences in the impact of the return on reversal of homogenization effects of the conflict. The overall return rate of Bosniak minority communities is estimated at 48%, Croat at 27%, and Serb at only 11%. However, all three groups experienced both successful and failed outcomes of the process in different areas that follow wider regional patterns. In general, the country certainly lost significant part of its pre-war local heterogeneity in the war. Nevertheless, while effects of war-time homogenization have been confirmed in some areas, the minority return partially reversed cleansings in other regions.
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