• Tijana Karić Institute of Criminological and Sociological Research, Belgrade
  • Vladimir Mihić Department of Psychology, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Novi Sad
Keywords: Bosnia and Herzegovina, ethnic divisions, post-conflict society, reconciliation


To define intergroup reconciliation is still a dynamic topic in social-psychological research, and lay people are seldom included in the study. Given that post-conflict processes in the context of Bosnia and Herzegovina are still marked by ethnic divisions, the main aim of our research has been to explore how Serbs and Bosniaks define reconciliation. We applied focus groups methodology to investigate this question. Eight mono-ethnic focus groups were conducted with Serbs and Bosniaks, in Sarajevo and Banja Luka. 56 people participated in total. The results showed that both groups defined reconciliation in terms of accepting the outgroup, achieving ordinary life and political reconciliation. However, groups differed in certain definitions. Bosniaks conceptualized reconciliation as facing the past, resolving past issues, economic sustainability, and future orientation. Parts of definition provided mostly by Serbs included cooperation, respect, understanding, and building relationships. Results were discussed in the light of available reconciliation literature, as well as collective narratives about 1990s war.


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