Unbribable Bosnia and Herzegovina: The Fight for the Commons, edited by Damir Arsenijevic (Baden-Baden: Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft | Southeast European Integration Perspectives, vol . 10, 2014), 182 pp.

Unbribable Bosnia and Herzegovina—The Fight for the Commons affirms the transformative impulse of the February protests and plenums that took place in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2014. It brings together a range of interventions that materialize a common emancipatory frame in which politics is recuperated against the dominant bureaucratic management of the status quo. The fight for the commons upholds life that refuses to be bribed into accepting the dominant oppression and corruption as the only possibility of social existence in Bosnia and Herzegovina today. Local and international challenges to this fight for the commons will entail building and proving in everyday life solidarity that targets violent practices of exclusion, inequality, and injustice. The protest and plenums in Bosnia and Herzegovina mark a new and hopeful moment in asserting a more equitable and just sociality—a fight that is local in its early achievements but global and universal in its implications.


Unbribable Bosnia and Herzegovina - The Fight for the Commons is probably the most innovative and important collection of texts dealing with the unbearable realities of society in post-war Bosnia and Herzegovina. This book provides an indispensable documentation and reflection of the demands and visions voiced during the protests and plenums in 2014. The authors provide a healthy antidote to counter the political and social cynicism, which prevailed for more than 20 years in Bosnia and Herzegovina. A new, just and sustainable social contract in Bosnia and Herzegovina is possible.
Tobias Flessenkemper, Centre international de formation européenne (CIFE), Nice

This collection is an invaluable look into the processes, histories, and potentials of the recent popular revolt in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) known as the February protests and plena of 2014. Longtime observers of the country, social critics, and participants themselves, the contributing authors offer concise but nuanced analyses and politically principled perspectives rooted in the everyday experiences of BiH citizens as a counter to the destructive framings put forth by ruling elites, advocates of international intervention, champions of neoliberal structures, and mainstream media still bent on portraying BiH as a hotbed of ethnic antagonisms. Something different has been unfolding in BiH; people are fed up but have not given up. Cutting through the unhelpful and myopic attempts to apply labels of success or failure, this book takes seriously the valiant struggles of people in BiH to devise new ways of imagining community in a context that at first appears extreme but in fact reflects challenges facing ordinary people throughout the contemporary world.
Elissa Helms, Central European University (CEU), Budapest

Popular protests that rocked Bosnia and Herzegovina in February 2014 were the first rupture in the “continuation of war by other means” reality of a country trapped in a vicious cycle of nationalist mythomania and transitional plunder of resources by the political elite. The unity in rage against the plundering machine created in the conflict of the 1990s demonstrated in the days when government buildings burned in major Bosnian cities, and the clear articulation of demands for social justice and substantive participation in decision-making channeled through “people’s plenums” in the months which followed, offered hope that Bosnia and Herzegovina can and ultimately will be a different society. Unbribable Bosnia and Herzegovina–The Fight for the Commons serves as an invaluable record of how these momentous events unfolded, what were their central ideas and what awaits in the struggle to see them take hold.
Refik Hodzic, Director of Communications at the International Center for Transitional Justice, New York

 




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