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Gilbert , ; Stubbs ; World Bank From this point of view, the case of the restitution and return process, which reached its peak in the early s, is especially telling: at the local level, it has not only led to awkward situations and difficult compromises, but has also produced much more limited and ambivalent results than those expected by its advocates esp. Grandits, Duijzings, Delpla, Helms or in everyday life esp. Local actors, beginning with nationalist parties, sometimes openly resist international interventions esp. Grandits, Duijzings. The diversity of interactions taking place between the international community and the local society means that, on the ground, the distinction between international and local actors becomes blurred.

Coles, Helms, Jansen; see also Sampson a, b; Stubbs Coles, Delpla, Jansen; see also Coles Despite this continual interaction on the ground, international and local actors do not always share the same values, expectations and symbolic frameworks esp. Against this background, international actors are often unaware of their full impact on local society, leading at times to unexpected results, including the cultivation of new nationalist mobilizations. International organizations and foreign NGOs, for example, want to encourage reconciliation and, therefore, to influence the way local war memories are shaped esp.

Duijzings, Delpla, Helms. But their own aid policies tend to reproduce the very war-related social groups and categories on which nationalist memories and discourses are based. The reverse case exists as well, in the sense that international decisions not related to the war can indirectly call into question war-related social and moral hierarchies esp.

One could argue, for example, that some of the actions of the international community contributed to the November defeat of the Alliance for Change, the very coalition it had painstakingly helped over several years to build. She argues that the Hague Tribunal is one of the rare institutions which embodies moral values, though it remains distant for most Bosnian citizens, addressing only a small fraction of post-war injustices.

Focusing on some victim associations primarily made up of Bosniacs, Delpla shows that their primary concern is to achieve official recognition of their status as victims. Furthermore, their concepts of justice do not overlap entirely with those put forth by ICTY 18 On similar developments in Kosovo, see Lafontaine Advocates of international criminal justice hope to contribute to the restoration of basic universal values and a common humanity. Though victims endorse some categories of international criminal law, they still understand justice in a narrower, more personal or local sense, focusing on the individuals whom they knew before the war and who committed atrocities in their municipalities of origin.

Hence, the ICTY matters for them mainly through arrests and punishments of those specific war criminals. Moreover, Delpla argues, trials going on at The Hague have very little social effects beyond municipal boundaries. But paradoxically it might also be reinforced by The Hague tribunal itself, through its policy of selective indictments focusing on a few symbolic municipalities. During the war, women were above all depicted as passive victims of ethnic cleansing and mass rape, and therefore as symbols of the victimization of their respective ethnonational groups.

This is expressed through reference to moral qualities deemed to be typically female and especially associated with motherhood, such as unselfishness, concern for future generations, and a willingness to compromise. Such strategies reveal changes experienced during and after the war in gendered roles and representations, as well as in the boundaries of public and private spheres. As members of a new transnational elite, they are beyond the reach of the Bosnian state, living as they do in their own distinct legal space with its own identification cards and social welfare system.


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In so doing, they perpetuate an essentialist vision of post-communist Balkan societies, which they contrast with the ideal and apolitical picture neo-liberal Europe imagines for itself. At the same time, traders object to the neoliberal market models promoted by the OHR and the District authorities. Instead, they invoke a morality of exchange based on non-economic criteria which aims at ensuring the possibility of survival to the greatest portion of the population.

Moreover, despite the wishful pronouncements of many foreign observers, it is not primarily a site of interethnic reconciliation, but a place where conflicts common to all of Bosnia, between an impoverished population and new economic elites and between an ethics of shared survival and the logic of unbounded accumulation, come to the fore. All of the chapters in this volume show that the social and political ruptures of the war and post-war periods should not be allowed to overshadow important continuities.

Hann ; Stubbs a; World Bank The clientelistic manipulation of the gap between legal entitlements and available financial means or the ethnic legitimization of informal power networks are practices that were already present in socialist Yugoslavia and, indeed, contributed to its final demise see e. Sekelj ; Woodward a, b. Gosztonyi and Rossig ; Sorabji forthcoming. Burawoy and Verdery ; Hann This is all the more true for Bosnia, which is both a post-socialist and a post-war country. Beyond issues specifically linked with post-socialism, it could therefore be useful to consider recent insights offered by anthropologies of the state.

Barsegian Escobar ; Ferguson ; Grillo and Stirrat Post-war Bosnia is indeed being shaped by a variety of state and state-like effects. As shown by Grandits in this volume, the state itself is struggling, fragmented, and contested, due to the institutional framework in place since Dayton and to an enduring crisis of legitimacy in the eyes of the population.

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Many of its functions have been taken over by intergovernmental or non-governmental organizations, in a unique exercise in international intervention esp. Helms; see also Sampson a, b; Stubbs a, ; Stubbs and Deacon Ferguson and Gupta ; Gupta ; Trouillot Burawoy ; Gupta ; Trouillot In all the chapters, it is especially 22 On new forms of transnational governmentality in Eastern Europe, see e. Kalb ; Pandolfi , ; Stubbs a, ; Wedel , , Burawoy ; Greenhouse ; Marcus ; Nordstrom Notions of culture and morality, justice and common good reappear throughout the chapters.

This central but often neglected feature of post-war Bosnian society reflects not only a lingering confrontation over the causes and outcomes of the war, or the exacerbation of social conflicts over scarce material resources, but, more fundamentally, the need and the difficulty of restoring common normative frameworks after the collapse of the pre-war legal order and the gross violation of commonly accepted norms of comportment.

Das and Kleinman , On the one hand, the moral categories and claims so prominent in post-war Bosnian society apply to various issues and temporalities — from the recognition of historical misdeeds esp. Duijzings, Grandits to the allocation of scarce material resources esp. Delpla and the hierarchization of wartime sufferings and merits esp. Duijzings, Helms, Armakolas, Jansen. Even the distinction frequently made between retributive, reparative and distributive justice is not sufficient to understand how these different registers reinforce or contradict each other esp.

Grandits, Bougarel, Delpla , and are mobilized, renegotiated and reshaped at the local level esp.

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On the other hand, what is common to all these moral categories and claims is their utmost rigidity. The articulation of social and political conflicts in moral terms is by no means peculiar to Bosnia, or to postwar societies. In the Bosnian case, however, the ubiquity of a narrow selection of moral categories and claims ensues from the need to ascribe meaning to wartime experiences and to the uncertainties of the post-war period. It can also be perceived as a legacy of totalitarian ideologies and imposed historical narratives. In this light, the main question is whether such categories and claims contribute to the restoration of common normative frameworks or, by turning social conflicts into unyielding moral hierarchies, prevent Bosnian society from successfully managing its inner contradictions.

As illustrated by the issues of war crimes and the return of the displaced, local level studies call for nuanced answers to this fundamental question. The activities of the ICTY contribute to the restoration of a minimal consensus on the necessity to punish war criminals and, together with the pressures exerted by the OHR on the authorities of the RS, to the establishment of truth and the recognition of victims Delpla, Duijzings.

At the same time, the management of war memories remains a highly contested process, both in and among ethno-national groups esp. Duijzings, Bougarel, Kolind , and the restoration of interpersonal cooperation often implies the avoidance of sensitive topics or the recognition of diverging war experiences esp. Stefansson, Armakolas; see also Delpla a; Philpott ; von Carlowitz In Bosnia, the painstaking elaboration of common normative frameworks is indeed accompanied by the crystallization of new forms of governmentality: the activities of the ICTY have also indirectly contributed to the reform of the Bosnian judicial system, and the restoration of pre-war occupancy rights has been followed by the privatization of socially owned apartments.

It is against this backdrop that the difficulties met by the international community in its endeavour to establish a viable state and a shared political community must be reconsidered. International organizations have played a key role in the removal of certain physical and social divides inherited from the war esp. Duijzings, Armakolas, Kolind. But international policies and the forms of governmentality they produce can also complicate the reformulation of common normative frameworks and represent new challenges for a shattered political community.

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This is evident in the way the collapse of the production economy and the socialist welfare state has forestalled consensus on the definition of legitimate income and social justice esp. Coles, Helms. Paradoxically enough, some international practices and discourses feed this perception, and can thus work against the emergence of a shared political community in post-war Bosnia.

The concept was charged with a sense of morality, of what was good, right or desirable. When used as an analytical concept, as I use it here, it is important to bear in mind that social norms are always in a process of change. The human need for security can, in turn, be used by actors in a political arena to promote their own versions of reality, and consequently those with more power have more to say about what normality is. By highlighting the process of negotiating normality in violent circumstances I want to give an outline of, and suggest a way of interpreting, life in Sarajevo during the war.

The interpretation is grounded in research conducted in the last 1 This chapter is based on fieldwork conducted during and in parts of Sarajevo controlled by the Bosnian Government. Between Chaos and Resistance When members of a society are exposed to systematic physical destruction, or a fear of it, the normality of their daily lives as they lived them in peaceful times is seriously jeopardized.

In wars where civilians and civilian lives are the main targets of destruction, the destruction of normality stretches itself through all levels of social life. As Carolyn Nordstrom has shown for the cases of Sri Lanka and Mozambique, Maimed bodies and ruined villages are obvious casualties of dirty wars. Maimed culture — including crucial frameworks of knowledge — and ruined social institutions are not as visible, but they are equally powerful realities and their destruction might have a much more enduring and serious impact than the more obvious gruesome casualties of war.

Nordstrom ; emphasis added The destruction, however, rarely happens suddenly and totally. Rather, the lives people are used to living are disrupted gradually and continuously. This leaves space for people to come to terms with the disruptions: to feel them, to think about them, to explain them, and to find their own ways of acting — in other words, to negotiate their normality.

The expression stands not only for the effects of Colombian state terrorism on civilian life, but also characterizes a global phenomenon. He continues: I am referring to a state of doubleness of social being in which one moves in bursts between somehow accepting the situation as normal, only to be thrown into a panic or shocked into disorientation by an event, a rumour, a sight, something said, or not said — something that even while it requires the normal in order to make its impact, destroys it.

Taussig 18; emphasis added Characteristic of the type of wars described in this chapter is the initial notion of chaos and abnormality.


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  4. In such circumstances of permanent insecurity, each small incident that disrupts normality produces an ontological and epistemological vacuum Nordstrom , This condition stays for a shorter or longer period of time until the disruption is dealt with, interpreted, understood, and normality is re-established. But people do not just automatically accept new explanations, ideas and norms.

    The first reaction was a denial that people were disappearing.

    spireltora.tk Then came rationalizations for why somebody had disappeared, which implied that this could not happen to oneself. This, like the sharing of trauma among women in Guatemala through talk about their sicknesses Green , is the first sign of resistance to the imposed order of terror. When experiences, traumas, desires and ideas get expressed — voiced — they become shared.

    The forms of expression can be various: humour, jokes, poetry, rock-music, paintings, theatre or talking about sicknesses. The naming of the trauma is not only a form of resistance but can also be a way of healing. Because of their basic and obvious nature, I perceived the problems of providing them as fairly banal, and yet, I found myself from the very beginning very attentive to whether water or electricity would come at some point of the day.

    More importantly, however, it points us to a phenomenon necessary for understanding the war in Sarajevo: everyday uncertainty.