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Conference on political mobilization and representation of ethnic groups in BiH in a comparative perspective

Past event

23.Sep

Conference on political mobilization and representation of ethnic groups in BiH in a comparative perspective

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SCOPES Conference, Sarajevo (Hotel Europe, V. Škarića 5), 23-24 September 2013   

Ethno-democracy in the heart of Europe: political mobilization and representation of ethnic groups in Bosnia and Herzegovina in a comparative perspective

Organisation: Daniel Bochsler (Centre for Democracy Studies Aarau ZDA / University of Zurich), Mirna Jusić (Center for Social Research Analitika, Sarajevo), and Nenad Stojanović (ZDA / University of Zurich).

Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) is a true ethno-democracy. It has officially recognized its three main ethnic groups (Bosniaks, Croats, and Serbs) as "constituent peoples" and their political representation is guaranteed at all levels of BiH's institutions. While all European countries have a single "titular nation" which is either explicitly recognized (for example, the Croats in Croatia or the Germans in Germany) or implicitly acknowledged as such because of its statistical predominance (for example, the Swiss-Germans in Switzerland or the Slavic Macedonians in Macedonia), in BiH all three "constituent peoples" are titular and none of them constitutes a statistical majority in the country. This makes BiH a unicum on the European continent.

The SCOPES* project "Ethnic Quotas and Representation of Minorities in Local Politics in Bosnia and Herzegovina" (2009-2013), funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation and the Swiss Development and Cooperation Agency, has focused on political inclusion of minorities at the local level in BiH. In virtually all municipalities in post-war BiH, one of the constituent people forms the ethnic majority, whereas the other two people numerically are local minorities. In some municipalities, these local minorities are represented in the local assemblies through reserved seats, and in 2004/2008, such quotas have been extended to the members of the 17 officially recognised "national minorities" (apart from those already existing for the three "constituent peoples"). The research project has investigated the political inclusion of minorities and ethno-political mobilisation in BiH, investigating both the pre-war (1990 elections) and the post-war situation (minority representation with quotas).

The aim of this conference, which concludes the SCOPES project, is to explore the patterns of political mobilization and representation of ethnic groups in BiH in a comparative perspective. The conference consists of one workshop and a roundtable. The workshop will address the issue of minority empowerment from a conceptual and comparative perspective. The roundtable will discuss the most salient issues of minority empowerment with a broader public.

Audience: academic (workshop on 23 September), public (roundtable on 24 September). Free entrance.

Monday, 23 September 2013

Workshop: Empowering minorities: autonomy versus inclusion?

There are three basic approaches for achieving political empowerment for ethnic minorities: territorial autonomy for minority regions, cultural (non-territorial) autonomy, or quota-based representation. This workshop discusses the three forms, with an empirical focus on the Balkans and their neighbourhood. We explore how much political power minorities gain through these instruments, whether they allow or prevent their inclusion in the political system, and the degree of self-government they achieve.

Language: English. Workshop chair: Nenad Stojanović (ZDA / University of Zurich)

13.30. Introduction to the workshop and the SCOPES project (Edin Hodžić, Analitika)

13.45. Keynote speech: "Comparing ethnic quotas and ethnic representation worldwide" (Karen Bird, McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada)

Discussant: Edin Hodžić (Analitika)

14.30. Session 1: Territorial and non-territorial autonomies

"Clarifying the concept of cultural autonomy. The cases of Hungary, Romania, and Serbia" (István Gergő Székely, Central European University, Budapest)

"Representative claims and expected gains. Minority council elections and intra-ethnic competition in Serbia" (Christina Zuber, Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona; co-authored with Jan Jakub Mús)

"Contestation and institutional constraints: Minority representation in minority-majority enclaves" (Daniel Bochsler, ZDA / University of Zurich)

15.45-16.00. Break

16.00. Session 2: Quota-based representation

"Analysing the policy responsiveness towards ethnic minorities. Does the presence of minority MPs really matter?"(Miriam Hänni, ZDA / University of Zurich)

"Minority quotas and participation in comparative perspective" (Florian Bieber, University of Graz)

"Political participation of national minorities in Croatia: representation resulting in political integration or clientelism?"  (Antonija Petričušić, University of Zagreb)

17.15-17.30. Break

17.30. Session 3: What do we know today about minority representation in Bosnia and Herzegovina? An academic roundtable

Synopsis of the results of the SCOPES project (Nenad Stojanović) 10'

Discussion among experts and paper authors:

Florian Bieber, University of Graz; Antonija Petričušić, University of Zagreb; Sylvie Ramel, University of Zurich (experts)

Edin Hodžić, Analitika; Mirna Jusić, Analitika; Boriša Mraović, independent researcher; Damir Kapidžić, University of Sarajevo; Christina Zuber, Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona (paper authors)

18.45. End of the workshop. 

 

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Roundtable: Do minority quotas in BiH make a difference?

The expert roundtable is envisaged as a discussion of policy implications of the introduction of minority quotas. In addition to the speakers, the event will gather a number interested participants, such as: members of the minority community from local communities throughout BiH, members of parliament and relevant government ministries, official minority consultative bodies at different levels of government, representatives of international organizations and embassies, and the media.

Languages: BHS and English (simultaneous translation)

Moderation: Nenad Stojanović (ZDA / University of Zurich)

9.30 – 10.00. Registration & welcome coffee

10.00. Welcome address (Nenad Stojanović and a representative of the Swiss Development and Cooperation Agency)

10.10. SCOPES project: the main results (Edin Hodžić, Analitika)

10.20. "Minority quotas and participation in comparative perspective" (Florian Bieber, University of Graz)

10.30. 1st roundtable discussion and questions from the audience

Speakers:

Florian Bieber, University of Graz

Karen Bird, McMaster University

Edin Hodžić, Analitika

Christina Zuber, Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona

11.15. "Political participation of national minorities in Croatia: representation resulting in political integration or clientelism?" (Antonija Petričušić, University of Zagreb)

11.30. 2nd roundtable discussion and questions from the audience

Speakers:

Daniel Bochsler, ZDA/ University of Zurich

Asim Mujkić, University of Sarajevo

Antonija Petričušić, University of Zagreb

Sylvie Ramel, University of Zurich

12.30. End of the roundtable. Lunch

 

SPECIAL NOTE:

This conference is made up of parts:

The workshop, planned on 23 September, will address conceptual and methodological aspects concerning issues of minority participation in political life. It is therefore envisaged as an academic workshop, to gather representatives of the academic community, researchers and analysts.

The roundtable, to take place on 24 September, is devoted to the policy implications of the introduction of minority quota, and targets a wider expert public and decision-makers : representatives of minority organizations and advisory bodies, representatives of governments and competent institutions, representatives of international organizations and embassies, independent experts and representatives of the academic community, as well as journalists. 

For that reason, we kindly ask you, when applying to participate in the conference, to mark whether would like to attend the academic workshop  (23 September), the roundtable (24 September), or  both parts of the conference. 

You can apply by sending an email to nermina.vraco@analitika.ba or you can contact us by phone at (+ 387) 33 215 825.

Due to a limited number of available seats, those interested to participate should confirm their attendance before the event.

*The SCOPES programme (Scientific co-operation between Eastern Europe and Switzerland), which is financed by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) and the Swiss Agency for Development and Co-operation (SDC), promotes scientific co-operation between research groups and institutions in Switzerland and Eastern Europe as well as the new independent states of the former Soviet Union (www.snf.ch/E/international/europe/scopes).