The formation of a nation: The case of bosnian muslims

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Ayça Berna Görmez


This study examines the process of the formation of Bosniak nation. Ethno-symbolist approach to nationalism is taken as the basis of the study in evaluating the formation of the Bosniak nation due to the fact that ethno-symbolists argue that nationalism is a modern phenomenon but the origins of the nations can be traced back to the ethnicity. They emphasize the importance of subjective elements such as myth of common ancestry, shared culture and values in constituting nation. In this study it is argued that there are three turning points in the history of Bosnian Muslims that led to the formation of the Bosniak nation. These are Austro-Hungarian occupation of Bosnia in 1878, the recognition of Bosnian Muslims as a separate nationality in 1968 and Bosnian war between 1992 and 1995. In this study, these turning points and their relevance for the formation of nation is analyzed through an ethno-symbolist perspective.

Keywords: Bosnian Muslims, ethno-symbolism, Bosniak, nationalism


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