Gulf in Bosnia and Herzegovina: An (Un)Intentional Consequence of Peace
Through the analysis of the surge in the real-estate development in post-1990s war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, this research project aims to map the ways in which the country has been striving to position itself in relation to the movements of global capital. The project primarily scrutinises the role of the Dayton Peace Agreement (as a state building mechanism) as a distinct and crucial element, which sets this phenomenon apart from its global counterparts.
Operating within a specific ethno-religious context, underlined by the structural violence deeply embedded in its very core, the Dayton Peace Agreement helped produce a new milieu conducive to the flow of global capital. This project focuses on the influx of capital from the Gulf States, which has challenged the pre-existing binary relationship between the Dayton Peace Agreement and ethno-religious identities. The new milieu resulting from this intense encounter has allowed for corruption and underhanded practices, such as deregulation of planning policies or land grabbing, to thrive and has endorsed the use of religion as an investment bait.
This new triangular relationship, established between the state-building mechanism, finance and ethno-religious identities, has since been producing a new spatial and territorial order in Bosnia and Herzegovina. While, de facto, turning the Dayton Peace Agreement into an instrument of finance, this very process is at the same time rearranging the existing social and demographic landscape of the country.
The insights which have helped outline the above arguments have been generated through a blend of different methodologies. The investigation of the condition on the ground in relation to what has been promised vs what is (subsequently) allowed as per urban planning regulations, was carried out through the production of maps. The conflation of different types of data transformed into a visual output has been a key mechanism driving this practice-based PhD project.
Member of Roundtable Three