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The Role of Croatia in Bosnia and Herzegovina: Antemurale Christianitatis as a Policy of Choice

The commentary deals with the history of Croatian interference in BiH in the context of the place that BiH and its Muslims hold in the development of the Croatian national narrative. The pattern based on the myth of Croatia as the “bulwark of Christianity” and “nesting Orientalism” can be identified as underpinning Croatian national and foreign policy in BiH. Croatia is still pursuing its ambitions in BiH under the guise of membership in the EU and NATO and is likely to continue to do so, especially in the absence of a comprehensive political strategy of both organizations for BiH and the region of former Yugoslavia in general.

The Role of Croatia in Bosnia and Herzegovina Antemurale Christianitatis
Newly elected members of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s tripartite presidency.
 

In this commentary, I argue that since the dissolution of Yugoslavia in the early 1990s, the central plank of the Republic of Croatia’s foreign policy towards Bosnia and Herzegovina (hereafter “BiH” or “Bosnia”) has been a consistent and systematic “orientalisation” of BiH and its Muslim population on the part of the political class of Croatia. The article looks at the Croatian policy towards Bosnia, focusing on the origins of the Croatian project in BiH that started in the early 1990s –and still lasts, albeit by different means– as well as its historical and cultural roots.

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