“Non-Aligned Citizens”: Ethnic Power-Sharing and Non-Ethnic Identities in Bosnia Herzegovina. The Case of Sarajevo.
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Bosnia Herzegovina is a consociational democracy grounded on three ethnic constituencies. The postwar implementation of power-sharing mechanisms ended to favor ethnocracy and ethnopolitics, eventually compromising an inclusive democracy untied from ethnonational issues. This contribution explores the positive potential held by political parties and ordinary citizens “nonaligned” with the ethnopolitical scaffolding—therefore and consequently not explicitly included in the power-sharing system—because they hold and promote “alternative,” civic, and nonethnic forms of identification. Drawing upon interviews performed in Sarajevo, this article argues that citizens’ political disappointment and dissatisfaction are among the reasons contributing to the existence of a small, yet potentially critical, mass of citizens able to help adjusting an ethnically exclusive model of democracy.
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