Document Type

Thesis

Publication Date

4-2014

Advisor

Christi Siver, Political Science

Abstract

How in less than ten years does a country go from hosting the Olympics to using the opening ceremony stadium to bury bodies? In this paper, I seek to answer the question of why ethnic nationalism was able to gain such strong support in BiH following the collapse of Yugoslavia. I explore three possible explanations. The first focuses on the role of elite manipulation of the media in spreading nationalist narratives. The second, examines the impact of perceived economic woes along ethnic lines that led to scapegoating of other ethnic groups. The third offers a hybrid approach, proposing that perceived economic woes made the public receptive to elite spread of nationalist narratives. Drawing upon three months of field research conducted in Bosnia Herzegovina, including interviews with individuals on all sides of the conflict, during the summer of 2013, as well as the work of previous scholars, my paper seeks to provide a valuable contribution to the scholarly community on understanding the role the media and economics can play in inciting ethnic animosity and violence.

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