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While the world's attention focuses on Ukraine, a series of mass protests in Bosnia and Herzegovina have gone more or less unnoticed. Yet, the demands of dozens of thousands of protesters - for actual democracy and the end of widespread corruption - along with innovative means of self-organisation (such as the plenums and people's assemblies regularly held in Sarajevo and elsewhere) are a great source of inspiration, and hope, for democratic movements in the rest of Europe and beyond. What happens in Bosnia will not stay in Bosnia.

A selection of our best articles on the ongoing protests in Bosnia and Herzegovina.


Andricgrad: The 'town within a town' on the Drina

The 'townlet' of Andricgrad may help to move Visegrad and Republika Srpska closer towards a wartime goal of union with Serbia. However, the city also reveals dormant tensions within the community, sending a reminder that the past is still not forgotten.

Bosnia-Herzegovina: protests, problems and solutions

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, the protests and plenums have been the best thing people have witnessed since the end of armed hostilities in 1995. What’s next? Can democracy be restored?

Listen to Bosnia's plenums

After almost twenty years of stagnant purgatory under the Dayton constitution, it is Bosnians themselves who are building democracy, from the ground up.

Behind closed windows: a discussion on the recent protests in Bosnia

The poet Goran Simic and the historian Srdja Pavlovic discuss the protests in Bosnia and what they mean for the future of the country.

The new Balkan revolts: from protests to plenums, and beyond

The current wave of protests in Bosnia may represent the birth of true activist citizenship. These movements discover new forms of collective organisation and explore the most fundamental questions for any society, namely social justice and equality for all. What happens in Bosnia will not stay in Bosnia.

Bosnia and the universal theme of police brutality

In the Bosnian protests of the last months, the global scenario of police brutality has been re-enacted, with local specifics.  And the violence of the police is itself a symptom of the failure of the current Bosnian political order. 

The undeluded going astray in Bosnia

The process of integration into the European Union, which has been stagnant for a decade now, has exposed the sad reality of a total lack of political will on the part of Europe. Let’s be more specific. In Italian. In French.

Bosnia, and vanishing European leadership

Bosnian citizens' protest against corruption and misgovernance also reveals the deep flaws of the country's ethno-nationalist system. But where is Europe?

Bosnia: another EU communication chasm?

Bosnia’s political elites across the ethnic spectrum have lost their legitimacy, and can only function within the current political chaos, with its prevailing democratic deficit.

Bosnia and Herzegovina: putting social justice on the agenda

This is a revolt, not yet another NGO or academic report assessing BiH’s progress on its ‘Road to Europe’ or to NATO, nor a bland press statement from the Office of the High Representative, the supreme agency of foreign intervention in BiH.

The perils of procedural democracy: a lesson from Bosnia

The lack of substantive democracy has been bringing citizens onto the streets throughout the European Union, the Middle East, and even United States for many years now.

"We are hungry in three languages": citizens protest in Bosnia

Demonstrations have spread rapidly across Bosnia, with citizens organizing popular assemblies to voice their frustration with the country’s institutional paralysis.  Through the adamantly non-ethnic nature of the demonstrations, the protesters are taking aim at the entire political elite. Valerie Hopkins reports from Sarajevo.

Breaking up with lame: protests in Bosnia

On the fifth day of ongoing demonstrations in Sarajevo, a routine is establishing itself and there is a feeling of something new in the landscape of Dayton-constitution Bosnian purgatory – citizens are breaking up with their fears.

The Bosnian national football team: a case study in post-conflict institution building

The Bosnian national football team provides an inspiring example of what Bosnian society could become, given the right conditions.

Bosnia’s baby revolution: is the protest movement coming of age?

For the first time since independence, Bosnians of all stripes are coming together in a show of unity, to protest the corruption, inequality and incompetence of their politicians. Could this be a real moment of change in Europe's 'unfinished country'?

‘We are all in this together’: a civic awakening in Bosnia-Herzegovina

In Bosnia-Herzegovina, a seemingly trivial administrative issue ignited an unprecedented movement of civic resistance across the country's old dividing lines. Understanding the message of defiance was directed against them all, politicians tried the old trick of 'divide and rule' – only to be ridiculed by protesters.

Longing for ‘normality’: women’s experience of post-war Bosnia-Herzegovina

Returning to Bosnia-Herzegovina after 17 years, Cynthia Cockburn finds Bosnian women criticizing their country's nationalist political culture. Longing for civil 'normality', they hark back to the former Yugoslavia and look forward to membership of the European Union, despite the imperfections of the former and increasing divisiveness in the E.U.

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