Kurt Bassuener: Bosnia 101

Sarajevo Train Station, May 2013.
Sarajevo Train Station, May 2013.
“People here are a whole lot more rational than they give themselves credit for.  They all think they are more moderate than the norm; they don’t realize they are the norm.”

Kurt Bassuener has been working on the issue of Bosnia for over 15 years and in that time has figured out what many people inside and outside the country have not – what is wrong and what can be done about it.  That is, in fact, one of the key lessons to take home from this Bosnia 101 conversation; there is hope, there are things that can be done, if specific actors would be willing to change the status quo.

“If the external actors would recognize in their own interests, that with very little change in their approach… they could actually end up with a durable solution.”

At a time where Bosnia seems plagued by corruption and stagnation, Kurt sees things as politically and economically going backwards.  Creating a scenario that will do further harm to people inside the country, in the region, and across Europe.

“People saw the social fabric unravel once, and it was bad enough the first time, they don’t want to go there again.”

What is different about Bosnia-Herzegovina in 2013 compared to 1995?  Who makes up this complex nation today and what do they think of the traumatic past, the frustrating present and dour future?

“It took a lot of engineering to destroy this country, it was not something that just happened one day… There was a lot of effort to create a sense of inevitability and a sense of fear.”

On this edition of CitizenReporter we hear from policy analyst and veteran Balkan observer Kurt Bassuener of the Democratization Policy Council.  He is also the co-author of “House of Cards”, the DPC’s latest Bosnia policy paper.

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4 thoughts on “Kurt Bassuener: Bosnia 101

  • June 13, 2013 at 7:27 am
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    Kurt is well known name to a big number of Bosnians (besides others). He is just a perfect analytic of the situation in BiH, he knows exactly what is going on, where are the points which should be pressed in order to make changes and he tells clearly his standpoints without being shy or afraid of the left or right side, he gives even good advices how the things could be changed….and what happens? Nothing. Our politicians do not listen to the clever and well minded persons. Why should they, the peaceful critics or suggestions can not deprive them from their posts for which they have neither qualifications nor a little bit of love….

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