Ethical- Political Discourse of Etnopolis Cover Image

Etičko-politički diskurs Etnopolisa
Ethical- Political Discourse of Etnopolis

Author(s): Asim Mujkić
Subject(s): Politics / Political Sciences
Published by: Fakultet političkih nauka - Univerzitet u Sarajevu
Keywords: Bosnia and Herzegovina; Liberal democracy; Constituent people

Summary/Abstract: Author claims that the failure to impose principles of liberal democracy by the international community in Bosnia and Herzegovina right after the war and in that regard a constant quest for alliance with “mild” and “reformist” nationalists that have been fostered by the international community, proved itself catastrophic, not to say logically paradoxic: Bosnian fair and free democratic election procedure has for over a decade served to legalize undemocratic, ethno-nationalist government constituted by ethno-nationalist elites. Instead of becoming a constitution of a democratic country, the Dayton Constitution has established an unique political arrangement rather unknown to a modern political theory or political philosophy – the ethnopolitics. A community characterized by political priority of ethnic group(s) over an individual that is implemented through democratic self-legislation, a community characterized by the political priority of the ethnic group’s right to self-determination over a citizen’s right to self-determination where the citizen’s membership in a political community is predetermined by her or his membership in ethnic community author determines as Ethnopolis. The political narrative and practice intended to justify this ethnically based social construct is the ethnopolitics according to author. The basis of ethnicity is best described as kinship. In contrast, politics implies public activities engaged in by citizens who utilize a network of institutions and procedures. Politics presupposes a demos – the people as collective subject of representation, decision-making and law. Very crudely put – ethnopolitics, at least in the Bosnian case, is a political set-up in which a person’s citizenship is predetermined by her or his kinship, by her or his belonging to this or that group of imagined common origin. The subversive mechanism of ethnopolitics consists in the practice of presenting ethnos as demos. Ethnos pretends to be demos, thereby, to paraphrase Balibar, constituting an imaginary community of belongingness and connection with kin as the collective subject of representation, decision-making and law. The functions of representation and of decision-making, and the establishment of the legal framework, are permeated by discrimination on the basis of kinship. In contrast to the civic ideal of maximally inclusive participation, ethnopolitics in Bosnia has been developed by means of legal democratic procedure, as mechanisms of exclusion. Overpoliticization of cultural claims that are, as we have seen in the case of Bosnian “constituent peoples” arbitrary and vague, often politically constructed, oppresses the individual’s self-determination and maintains the entire country on the verge of conflict with catastrophic consequences in the fields of Bosnian economy, culture, civil society.

  • Issue Year: 2006
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 66-84
  • Page Count: 19
  • Language: Bosnian