A book talk with author Carl T. Dahlman, Miami University of Ohio, Geography and discussant Adam Moore, UCLA, Geography.
Bosnia Remade is an authoritative account of ethnic cleansing and its partial undoing from the onset of the 1990s Bosnian wars up through the present. Gerard Toal and Carl Dahlman combine a bird's-eye view of the entire war from onset to aftermath with a micro-level account of three towns that underwent ethnic cleansing and--later--the return of refugees.
There have been two major attempts to remake the ethnic geography of Bosnia since 1991. In the first instance, ascendant ethno-nationalist forces tried to eradicate the mixed ethnic geographies of Bosnia's towns, villages and communities. These forces devastated tens of thousands of homes and lives, but they failed to destroy Bosnia-Herzegovina as a polity. In the second attempt, which followed the war, the international community, in league with Bosnian officials, endeavored to reverse the demographic and other consequences of this ethnic cleansing. While progress has been uneven, this latter effort has transformed the ethnic demography of Bosnia and moved the nation beyond its recent segregationist past.
By showing how ethnic cleansing was challenged, Bosnia Remade offers more than just a comprehensive narrative of Europe's worst political crisis of the past two decades. It also offers lessons for addressing an enduring global problem.
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Published: Thursday, April 11, 2013