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SPP 267

Author: Mary McIntosh & Dan Abele
Description: This paper examines the degree to which ethnic hatred, ethnic competition, and modernization theories explain attitudes toward a multiethnic society in Bosnia Hercegovina using survey data collected among 3000 residents of Bosnia Hercegovina in April 1996. After operationalizing each perspective within the Bosnian context, we employ multiple regression analysis to examine the contribution of these theoretical perspectives to the explanation of Bosnian Serb, Muslim and Croat attitudes toward a multiethnic society. Despite the oft-heard refrain that ethnic hatreds preclude the establishment of a viable multiethnic Bosnian state, these data indicate that ethnic animosities are only one of several factors which shape attitudes toward a multiethnic society. The analysis suggests that ethnic competition (cultural and territorial) and modernization theories (traditional values and ethnic integration) also play a major role in shaping these attitudes. Focusing on just one perspective provides an incomplete and, worse yet, misguided analysis of public sentiment in Bosnia Hercegovina.

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CSPP School of Government & Public Policy U. of Strathclyde Glasgow G1 1XQ Scotland