Odjel za etnologiju i antropologiju

Competition in a Post-conflict Landscape


Projekt odobrila: National Science Foundation (NSF), USA

Trajanje projekta: 2018. - 2022.

Sažetak: The researchers has identified post-conflict Bosnia-Herzegovina as an appropriate site to conduct the research. After the civil war (1992-1995), the territory was divided constitutionally into regions, in each of which one of the three competing ethno-religious communities is dominant demographically although multiple communities are present. The basic science research question is whether there is evidence of path dependence in newly emerging intergroup relationships. The researcher will collect data on claims of heritage rights and the recreation of destroyed landscapes to test the hypothesis that reconstruction and replacement have been strategic rather than neutral and that they reinforce pre-war relationships rather than creating new ones. The researchers will collect data on site destruction and rebuilding; quantitative measures of site importance and dominance, including centrality and size; and community interactions. They will employ a mixed-methods approach including archival research, analysis of official records, stakeholder interviews, and geo-spatial mappings. The primary focus will be historically antagonistic communities but the sample also will include a neutral control group. The research will support international research collaborations and opportunities for students. The results of the research will enrich social science theory of constraints on behavioral modifications in post-conflict contexts, and will serve interests of national security through better understanding of conflict persistence in multi-ethnic societies.
Social scientists who study the aftermath of civil war have found that "post-war" does not necessarily mean "post-conflict." While official reconciliation processes move forward, conflict may be pursued covertly as former adversaries jockey for position in post-war landscapes. The research supported by this award asks if this phenomenon is inevitable: is the persistence of antagonism an example of path dependency? Path dependency is the theory that the past lays down institutional, technological, and cognitive structures and patterns that act as constraints on future behaviors. But questions remain about how this happens, how these constrained behaviors emerge, the feedback mechanisms that reinforce them, and the degree to which they can be interrupted and redirected. Post-conflict societies provide a unique opportunity to address these questions because efforts at social change, resistance to these efforts, and outcomes can be tracked in the micro-processes of daily life. Findings from this research will be important for theorists studying barriers to policy implementation and for policy makers who want their policies to succeed.

Sudionici: Robert Hayden, PI (University of Pittsburgh), Mario Katić, SPs (University of Zadar), Lea David, SPs (University College Dublin), Tugba Erdemir, SPs (University of Pittsburgh), Ante Šiljeg, SPs (University of Zadar)