Bosnia in Limbo

Testimonies from the Drina River

Borja Lasheras

ibidem Press

Bosnia in Limbo

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Pub Date: May 2018

ISBN: 9783838211329

120 Pages

Format: Paperback

List Price: $25.00

Pub Date: May 2018

ISBN: 9783838271323

120 Pages

Format: E-book

List Price: $14.99

Bosnia in Limbo

Testimonies from the Drina River

Borja Lasheras

ibidem Press

To this day, almost all narratives on Bosnia focus on the 1990s, the war, and the labyrinth that Dayton’s institutional system represents. They also tend to be imbued with a perspective that often overdoes the ethnic and religious element. The truth is that, beyond the causes of war and its manifold tragedies, we actually know very little of its forgotten consequences, once the CNN effect is long gone. As importantly, we know very little of Bosnia today: a society shaped by the past, yes, but also exposed to shifting twenty-first-century dynamics. A society haunted not only by war tragedies but also by a long-standing and long overlooked social crisis.

This revealing book thus tries to provide a somewhat different picture of Bosnia, twenty years after the war. Largely based on the author’s experience in the field, it is to some extent an account of rural Bosnia, in particular of the Drina River Valley, which bore the brunt of the ethnic cleansing in the 1990s. Yet, and starting off from that isolated region of open wounds, unfinished issues and a cast of characters that range from displaced persons and victims to committed women, the book aims to overall provide a portrait of modern Bosnia as such, while also looking critically at the workings of the international community and European diplomacy. The book, with its landscape of activists, Western diplomats, and inhabitants of an underground world in Sarajevo for LGBT and youths, shows a country of so-far failed Springs and leaders who go on with their bad governance. Meanwhile, the “Europe” towards which Bosnia theoretically moves drifts between a poor understanding of the country, a fear of conflict that acts as its Achilles’ heel, as well as lack of genuine interest, seems unable to really change things. This compelling book shows that Bosnia is still, in a way, a country in limbo.
A thrilling, vivid reportage rich in analysis—and vice versa. María Antonia Sánchez-Vallejo, Babelia, El País, May 2017
An essay which interest lies in something a bit difficult to find in these days of effervescence and ideological packs: doubts. Álvaro González Esteban, Jot Down
An extensive reportage on Bosnia and its problems; an essay on the consequences of war; a personal and passionate description of a trade, with elements of almost a Wild West movie, including a gallery of portraits of the region's inhabitants...and the difficulties on the ground to modernise the country. Daniel Gascón, Letras Libres, March 2017

About the Author

Francisco de Borja Lasheras (San Sebastián, Spain, 1981) spent several years in the Balkans, working on human rights in Bosnia-Herzegovina with the OSCE mission there, and then with the mission in Albania. He previously served at the Spanish Delegation to the OSCE in Vienna. Until February 2018, he was the director of the Office in Madrid of the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR), a think tank. Currently, he is working for the office of the Spanish Prime Minister. He splits his time between Spain, EU capitals, the Balkans, and Ukraine; between politics, media, and civil society, and between writing and photography. A regular voice at El Mundo newspaper and other media, Borja graduated summa cum laude from the University of Deusto and also holds a master’s degree from Harvard University in International Relations.