Elliot ShortJan 27, 2024
Building a Multiethnic Military in Post-Yugoslav Bosnia and Herzegovina
On 1 January 2006, soldiers from across Bosnia and Herzegovina gathered to mark the official formation of a unified army; and yet, little over a decade before, these men had been each other's adversaries during the vicious conflict which left the Balkan state divided and impoverished. Building a Multi-Ethnic Military in Post-Yugoslav Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bloomsbury, 2022) by Dr. Elliot Short offers the first analysis of the armed forces during times of peace-building in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
This sophisticated study assesses Yugoslav efforts to build a multi-ethnic military during the socialist period, charts the developments of the armies that fought in the war, and offers a detailed account of the post-war international initiatives that led to the creation of the Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina. At this point, the military became the largest multi-ethnic institution in the country and was regarded as a model for the rest of Bosnian society to follow. As such, as Elliot Short adroitly contends, this multi-ethnic army became the most significant act in stabilising the country since the end of the Bosnian War.
Drawing upon a wealth of primary sources – including interviews with leading diplomats and archival documents made available in English for the first time – this book explores the social and political role of the Bosnian military and in doing so provides fresh insight into the Yugoslav Wars, statehood and national identity, and peace-building in modern European history.
This interview was conducted by Dr. Miranda Melcher whose forthcoming book focuses on post-conflict military integration, understanding treaty negotiation and implementation in civil war contexts, with qualitative analysis of the Angolan and Mozambican civil wars.