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Crisis Governance in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia

The Study of Floods in 2014

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Edited By Vedran Džihić and Magdalena Solska

This comparative study at hand has been the result of a two-year research project on floods in 2014 in the Western Balkans engaging eight research teams from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Croatia. Representing quite different disciplines, the authors of this volume have analysed diverse aspects of the crisis governance and its ramifications. This publication’s goals are twofold. Firstly, it pins down the characteristics of the crisis responses during the floods of 2014 in three affected countries, preconditioned by the existing institutions, crisis leadership, the role of media and the social capital as well as the foreign financial aid. On the other hand, through the lenses of the crisis governance we conclude on the state capacities and the nature of political regime of the cases under study. The flood megacrisis did not constitute a "window of opportunity" for individual or institutional learning. On the contrary, it did unveil some authoritarian tendencies in Serbia and Bosnia, and thus stalled the hitherto ongoing democratization process.

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5. Managing Floods, Challenging Ethnopolitics in Bosnia and Herzegovina: The Example of the Town of Doboj (Danijela Majstorovć / Zoran Vučkovac)

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DANIJELA MAJSTOROVIĆ AND ZORAN VUČKOVAC

5.  Managing Floods, Challenging Ethnopolitics in Bosnia and Herzegovina: The Example of the Town of Doboj

This chapter analyses the politics of representation and crisis framing in Doboj, the largest town in Bosnia-Herzegovina (BiH) that experienced the May 2014 flooding. The study looks at how the print and online media portrayed the crisis management of the flooded town of Doboj and the surrounding region and whether the media reported along the ethnic divide or was committed to the objective depiction of the crisis governance. It also looks at the self-reliance and neighbourly solidarity of the inhabitants of Doboj as the coping mechanisms during a major crisis in a dysfunctional state.

Keywords: crisis management, critical discourse analysis, ethnic divide, ethnopolitics, floods, media

Introduction

The floods of May 2014 severely hit all of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) and the largest BiH town that suffered devastation was Doboj. With a population of almost 70 000 people, located on the rivers Usora and Bosna, Doboj municipality holds a very unique geographic and political position. Before the 1992–1995 war, it occupied a much larger area, whereas after the Dayton Peace Accords, the municipality was divided between the two BiH entities. Today, the town of Doboj belongs to the Republika Srpska (RS) while the parts of the prewar Doboj municipality, Doboj East (Tuzla canton) and Doboj South (Zenica canton), belong to the Federation of BiH....

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