Institute of Eastern and South Eastern European History

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M. A. Sophie Gueudet


PhD project: Between integration and marginalization: a geopolitical assessment of Republika Srpska

Scholarship from the French Ministry of Education and Research

The roots of the Republika Srpska (RS) are to find in the refusal of the Bosnian Serbs to be cut from their homeland state, Serbia, in 1992 independent Bosnia and Herzegovina. After the war, the RS has been institutionalized and became one of the two federal entities of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Thus, it has to struggle with the antithesis of an openly claimed Serbian identity, and a Bosnian territorial belonging. Our study deals with the complexity of the triadic relations between RS, Serbia, and Bosnia-Herzegovina: how the RS is, by claiming a common national identity and history, trying to keep Serbia as its homeland state, and how is this problematic for the state of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
One is entitled to think that Serbia’s kin-state policy prevents the RS to integrate further within the Bosnian state. However, an historical analysis of the triadic relations since 1995 tends to show that the more Serbia takes distance from RS, the more the latter takes distance from BiH. We intend to focus on those mechanisms in order to bring a contribution to Roger Brubaker’s theory of triadic nexus.