fjum_Kontext: Bosnia and Herzegovina before the Elections

Kursnummer: 17018

Identity politics, fears, failing institutions, corruption. Are the elections expected to bring change?

When: 24 September 2018, from 9:00 to 12:30
Where: International Institute for Peace (IIP), Möllwaldplatz 5, 1040 Wien
Seminar Language: English without translation.
Registration deadline: 20 September 2018

Special seminar.

In cooperation with International Institute for Peace (IIP)



Despite the international community’s omnipresence and innumerable programs in support of country’s democratization, Bosnia and Herzegovina faces profound problems, increasing ethnic divisions, institutional failures. Rampant corruption undermines all walks of life. Some analysts question if the country will survive. Young and educated are leaving the country.

As the 7 October presidential and parliamentary elections approach hate speech intensifies. What do voters expect from the coming elections?

Five Bosnian journalists and analysts, based in Banja Luka, Sarajevo and Mostar, explore the local context and describe voters´ perception and expectations.



Azra Nuhefendić, award- winning Bosnian and Italian journalist. More than 40 years experience in covering Bosnia and Herzegovina from different perspectives, local and international. Resides in Trieste.

Aleksandar Trifunivić, journalist, moderator, media and peace activist, and editor-in-chief, Buka Media Project. Resides in Banja Luka.

Šejla Šehabović, writer, journalist, feminist and the director of Museum of Literature and Performing Arts of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Resides in Sarajevo.

Elvedin Nezirović, writer, poet, peace activist and director of the Pavarotti Music Centre. Resides in Mostar.

Alida Vračić, political scientist, specialised in Western Balkans politics and European integrations; Visiting Fellow at European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR); founder and director of the Sarajevo-based think tank Populari. Currently resides in Berlin.



8:45 Registration and morning coffee
9:00 Welcome greetings and opening remarks:

  • Daniela Kraus, fjum, executive director
  • Hannes Swoboda, president, International Institute for Peace
  • Mirjana Tomic, fjum, moderator


9:15-9:30 Introductory Speech (Azra Nuhefendić):
An overview of the current situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina before the elections: Problems and challenges? Why has the democratic process been slow? Why have the institutions failed? Alternatives to identity politics? A view from an insider/outsider
Presentation (
Alida Vračić):
Old and new international players in Bosnia: their roles, their achievements and failures. EU, Turkey, Russia, Saudi Arabia, etc. Critical overview.
Questions and Aswers
with Azra Nuhefendić and Alida Vračić
Moderattion: Hannes Swoboda


10:30-11:00 Coffee break and networking


Panel Discussion, Q&A:
Ethnic Politics and Multiethnic Problems: What do voters expect from the coming elections? Insiders’ views from Banja Luka, Sarajevo, Mostar.

  • Aleksandar Trifunivić: View from Republika Srpska and focus on the role of media in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
  • Šejla Šehabović: Sarajevo perspective. Ethnic politics reflected in culture. Has the role of women changed?
  • Elvedin Nezirović: View from Mostar. Life in an ethnically divided city.

Moderation: Mirjana Tomić

12:00-12:10 Concluding remarks: Hannes Swoboda
12:10-13:00 Snacks and Networking


Target group

Journalists from the Austrian and Austria-based media (minimum 2 years of professional experience), foreign and national news desks, diplomats, university professors and researchers, analysts from think-tanks. Journalists, experts and university professors from Bratislava and Budapest.



Presentations, Panel Discussion, Q&A sessions; ample possibilities for interactive exchange, interviews and networking.



Read the material before the session. The material will be distributed on 20 September 2018.


Maximum number of participants: 35

Registration deadline: 20 September 2018


Further Questions

For additional information about the session, contact Mirjana Tomic, seminar manager,, or call 0676 365 26 93

Mirjana Tomić develops and manages fjum_Kontext information sessions on current international affairs.


In Kooperation mit:

24.09.201809:00 - 12:30
kostenlos. Anmeldung erforderlich.
Azra Nuhefendić, Šejla Šehabović, Elvedin Nezirović, Alida Vračić, Aleksandar Trifunović
Möllwaldplatz 5, 1040 Wien