My current research (click here for the full proposal) is focused on the emergence of political agency and power in the immediate aftermath of large-scale intergroup conflicts and how the distribution and negotiation processes of power influence the stability of peace settlements (mainly in Bosnia and Herzegovina). Here I am in particular interested in how the interaction of various political actors, whose legitimacy (e.g. voter support) continues to be dependent on war-time – mainly ethno-national – loyalties, can create a new peacetime working order. To highlight potential threats resulting from the ways political powers are created in Bosnia today, I analyze how political agents use central public spaces as a stage and prop to justify, legitimize, and mobilize their constituents in reference to various ethno-national myths, symbols, and rituals. What my research on intergroup interactions in post-war Bosnia and Herzegovina demonstrates so far is that the current justifications of power pose serious threat to the overall social order of Bosnia; increasingly so since economic decline and reductions in international aid elevate war-time profiteers and logics once again.
Some of my findings have been published in
"Identität und Anspruch: Die Funktionen von Symbolen in Bosniens Friedensprozess [Identity and Truth Claims: The Functions of Symbols in Bosnia's Peace Process], Marburg: Tectum Publishers 2011"