Negotiating Social Relations in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Negotiating Social Relations in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Edited by Stef Jansen, Carna Brkovic, and Vanja Celebicic

2016, Routledge


Exploring recent configurations of social relations in post-socialist, post-war, post-Yugoslav Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), this collection of ethnographic research turns an analytical lens on questions of sociality.

Contributions based on long-term, in-depth research projects explore how people in different parts of BiH make and remake social relations and outline how their practices of sociality relate to donor-set priorities and formal human rights provisions.

The book explores the socio-political concerns which have emerged within BiH, incites interdisciplinary conversations and sheds critical light on ways of engaging with these concerns and discusses forms of sociality, politics and agency which remain largely absent from the official political discourse and practice of local and foreign actors.

The commentaries of specialists who have studied BiH in different ways – sociologists, politicologists, historians – explicitly situate the contribution of ethnographic work in the country.

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Book review “Negotiating Social Relations in Bosnia and Herzegovina“, Reana Senjković, Südosteuropa, 2017

Managing Ambiguity

Managing Ambiguity

How clientelism, citizenship, and power shape personhood in Bosnia and Herzegovina

2017, Berghahn Books


Why do people turn to personal connections to get things done? Exploring the role of favors in social welfare systems in postwar, postsocialist Bosnia and Herzegovina, this volume provides a new theoretical angle on links between ambiguity and power. It demonstrates that favors were not an instrumental tactic of survival, nor a way to reproduce oneself as a moral person. Instead, favors enabled the insertion of personal compassion into the heart of the organization of welfare.

Managing Ambiguity follows how neoliberal insistence on local community, flexibility, and self-responsibility was translated into clientelist modes of relating and back, and how this fostered a specific mode of power.

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EASA members can get 25% discount when purchasing this title directly from the publisher.


Reviews of “Managing Ambiguity”:

Special issue “In the Name of the Daughter: Anthropology of Gender in Montenegro”

“In the Name of the Daughter – Anthropology of Gender in Montenegro”, published as open access, edited by Čarna Brković, special issue of the journal “Comparative Southeast European Studies”

“The thematic section ‘In the Name of the Daughter’ argues that we can understand gendered practices in Montenegro, such as sex-selective abortion, only if we consider the complicated ways in which material and economic processes become intertwined with social and cultural logics, simultaneously reinforcing old stereotypes while creating new spaces for action and change. The special issue presented here suggests that the practice of gender in Montenegro is predicated on specific kinship and property relationships, which it also perpetuates, and that women in the country are neither as oppressed nor as free as they might seem from a liberal feminist perspective. Anyone pondering how to articulate criticism and how to encourage change to gendered practices in Montenegro should take into account how possibilities for individual as well as collective action are shaped by kinship relationality, inheritance expectations, and state and public policy on gender.”

edited by Čarna Brković, DOI: