Available to view now: OUT-LINES Webinar on on Existential Risks to Bosnia-Herzegovina: The Critical Bridge of Constitutional Reform

Available to view now here

On 4 November 2021, Garden Court North Chambers, in association with the University of Manchester, the Coalition for Genocide Response and Accountability Unit, will hold its next ‘OUT-LINES’ webinar on international law on existential risks to Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Bosnia-Herzegovina re-emerged as a State following armed conflict in 1995; a conflict that saw the commission of genocide for the first time in Europe since the Second World War and pitted its three ethnic majorities against one another despite a history of shared living. The peace agreement at Dayton, Ohio helped end the violent conflict, but its imposed constitutional settlement froze the conflict rather than address its underlying causes. Today, Bosnia faces existential risks: renewed violent conflict encouraged by extreme-nationalists and predatory neighbours, endemic corruption among elites, severe political and economic stagnation exacerbated by ethno-nationalism, and little to no political legitimacy of elites representing the people. Reform, which ought to be driven by inclusivity, necessity and a human rights-led approach, remains elusive. Why has institutional conflict remained persistent? What can be done to achieve a durable peace and avert existential risks? And what might a vision for an inclusive and participatory Bosnia constitution look like?

This timely and fascinating webinar will include contributions from Dr Valery Perry, Amna Popovac, Bojan Šošić, Azra Zornić, Dr Iva Vukušić, and Aarif Abraham.

  • Dr Valery Perry will discuss the context in which the violent conflict ended and the frozen conflict resumed, the incentives and disincentives on elites in remaining intransigent and nationalistic, and the role of the domestic elites in pursuing conflict over peace in the form of a “peace cartel”. [6/7 mins]
  • Amna Popovac will talk about the role of the international community in facilitating prolonged conflict, the impact of predatory neighbours on Bosnian political life and possible thinking around a different political future. [6/7 mins]
  • Dr Bojan Šošić will consider the reality of the ‘everyday’ lived-experience of Bosnians, their hopes and fears and the impact of both a frozen political practice as well as a frozen conflict. [6/7 mins]
  • Dr Iva Vukušić will talk about the legacy of war crimes, genocide, CAH, where Bosnia is with criminal justice and what the effects of that are or may be on the state and society. [5 mins]
  • Professor Azra Zornić will discuss the refusal of elites to deal with the past, the lack of implementation of human rights norms and lessons learned from 1992 in Bosnia-Herzegovina. [5 mins]
  • Aarif Abraham will talk about his new book A Constitution of the People focusing on political culture in Bosnia, the discrepancy between people’s and elite’s political preferences and what kind of process might allow a fair and inclusive constitutional settlement be achieved to truly end the legacy of the wartime aggression. [6/7 mins]

Our host will be Dr Gail Lythgoe who will introduce the event and tell us more about each of the contributing organisations. [5 mins] Discussion with audience members will follow. [45 mins]

Please RSVP using the link here.

When: 04 Nov 2021
Start time: 17:45
End time: 19:15

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