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Religion as a Conversation Starter Interreligious Dialogue for Peacebuilding in the Balkans

Religions and religious actors have been the subject of several scholarly works published in the last two decades to examine the outburst and dynamics of the inter-communal conflict in the Balkans. This was primarily due to the role of religions in drawing the boundaries of ethno-national identities in Yugoslavia and Bosnia and Herzegovina in particular. Some of these works demonstrated the increasing visibility of religious actors in public realm of the post-Tito era; others have interpreted their role as a part of nationalist political strategies (see, Mojzes, 1994, 1998; Perica, 2002; Powers, 1996; Velikonja, 2003). They have also been analyzed in relation to their increasing role in post-war settings within the broader framework of peacebuilding (see, Goodwin, 2006; Little, 2007; Mojzes, 1998; Perić, 1998; Mojzes, Swidler and Justenhoven (Eds.), 2003; Steele, 1994; 1996, 1998, 2003; USIP, 2003). Related to that second body of research focusing on peacebuilding, cultivation of social capital, that is cooperation, social inclusion and trust, has generally been regarded as a crucial element for sustainable inter-communal relations.

 

Religions and religious actors have been the subject of several scholarly works published in the last two decades to examine the outburst and dynamics of the inter-communal conflict in the Balkans. This was primarily due to the role of religions in drawing the boundaries of ethno-national identities in Yugoslavia and Bosnia and Herzegovina in particular. Some of these works demonstrated the increasing visibility of religious actors in public realm of the post-Tito era; others have interpreted their role as a part of nationalist political strategies (see, Mojzes, 1994, 1998; Perica, 2002; Powers, 1996; Velikonja, 2003). They have also been analyzed in relation to their increasing role in post-war settings within the broader framework of peacebuilding (see, Goodwin, 2006; Little, 2007; Mojzes, 1998; Perić, 1998; Mojzes, Swidler and Justenhoven (Eds.), 2003; Steele, 1994; 1996, 1998, 2003; USIP, 2003). Related to that second body of research focusing on peacebuilding, cultivation of social capital, that is cooperation, social inclusion and trust, has generally been regarded as a crucial element for sustainable inter-communal relations.

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