ETHNICITY

The signing of the Dayton Peace Agreement (DPA) in 1995 was successful in its efforts to end war in Bosnia, but its use as a permanent constitutional framework has resulted in the institutionalization of ethnic divisions. This division is visible as physical boundaries created by the allocation of territory as well as through the complex power-sharing arrangements set up between the country’s three constituent ethnic groups: the Bosnian Muslims, Croats, and Serbs. Over the past several years, the political and economic situation in BiH has further deteriorated, and the country’s future remains extremely fragile. Nationalistic rhetoric and hate speech is a regular occurrence in the public discourse and mainstream media in BiH is highly polarized along ethnic, political, and nationalistic lines. Separate curricula on history, culture, and language does not promote national unity or interethnic cooperation. This is especially evident in local communities where the Two Schools Under One Roof phenomenon exists as children from different ethnic groups must learn in separated spaces within the same school. Despite the various difficulties, positive examples and success stories of inter-ethnic cooperation and a unified national identity do exist. This is especially true among members of Bosnia’s youth population, who are less encumbered by memories of a traumatic past and motivated to build a better, more unified future.