D10.1 Country Report | May 2023
Authors: Adnan Pečković & Jasmin Jašarević – PRONI Centre for Youth Development
This report examines the ongoing ethnic tensions and radical political views in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It focuses on the vulnerability of the youth population to extremist and radical activities, with a significant percentage justifying radicalism under certain circumstances. The report highlights the mass demonstrations in 2014 as a manifestation of citizens’ anger towards the political establishment, driven by institutional corruption and economic decline. In response to these challenges, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), funded by foreign donors, have implemented programs to address radicalism and extremism among young people. These organizations operate independently and aim to improve the status of young people in Bosnian society by focusing on topics such as peacebuilding, human rights, and social inclusion.
The report presents three examples of NGO activities: the reintegration of returning foreign fighters and their families, youth initiatives countering violent extremism, and youth empowerment for positive change. These projects adopt a multidisciplinary approach, involving experts, institutions, and local authorities. They aim to rehabilitate and socialize returnees, provide counter-narratives to extremism, and raise awareness about radical organizations. By involving young people in planning and implementation, the projects empower them to become active members of society and address important issues.
The report emphasizes the influence of media, particularly social networks, in the radicalization process and highlights the projects’ efforts to spread counter-narratives online. It also underscores the importance of involving community institutions in combating radicalization. However, considering socio-economic factors and existing tensions, the potential for radicalization remains. The report concludes that while these projects contribute to knowledge sharing and awareness, the primary responsibility lies with governmental institutions.