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Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnian Muslims, Balkan Peninsula, Republika Srpska, Adriatic Sea, duchy

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Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bosnian Bosna i Hercegovina), country in southeastern Europe, on the Balkan Peninsula. Formerly a constituent republic of Yugoslavia, Bosnia and Herzegovina declared its independence in March 1992. War then broke out among Bosniaks (Bosnian Muslims), Croats, and Serbs in the country. At the end of the war, in 1995, Serbs controlled 49 percent of the country’s territory, comprising an area known as the Serb Republic (Republika Srpska). The remaining territory, officially known as the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Federacija Bosna i Hercegovina), was controlled by a federation of Bosniaks and Croats. Today, the Bosniak-Croat federation and the Serb Republic together constitute the country of Bosnia and Herzegovina. In reality, since the war the country has remained divided three ways—among the Bosniaks, Croats, and Serbs—despite international attempts to unite it.

In the 14th century the principality of Bosnia joined with a duchy to the south that would eventually be called Herzegovina as part of a short-lived medieval kingdom. The modern-day country of Bosnia and Herzegovina, often referred to simply as Bosnia, is still divided geographically into a northern region of Bosnia and a southern region of Herzegovina. The republic is bounded on the north and west by Croatia and on the east by the republics of Serbia and Montenegro. Bosnia also has 20 km (12 mi) of coastline along the Adriatic Sea, wedged between Croatian territories. The capital and largest city is Sarajevo.


For younger readers

Black, Eric. Bosnia: Fractured Region. Lerner, 1997. For readers in grade 9 and up.

Milivojevic, JoAnn. Bosnia and Herzegovina. Scholastic, , 2004. For readers in grades 5 to 9.

Reger, James. The Rebuilding of Bosnia. Lucent, 1997. A concise, illustrated history of the war-torn region. For middle school and high school readers.

Yancey, Diane. Life in War-Torn Bosnia. Lucent, 1996. For readers in grades 6 and up.

Bosnia Herzegovina

Black, Eric. Bosnia: Fractured Region. Lerner, 1999. An illustrated history of the country and its neighbors; for middle school and high school readers.

Bringa, Tone. Being Muslim the Bosnian Way: Identity and Community in a Central Bosnian Village. Princeton University Press, 1995.

Burg, Steven L., and Paul S. Shoup. The War in Bosnia-Herzegovina: Ethnic Conflict and International Intervention. Sharpe, 1999. An analysis of the roots of ethnic hostility.

Donia, Robert J. Bosnia and Hercegovina: A Tradition Betrayed. Columbia University Press, 1994. Traces the history of Bosnian society from medieval to modern times.

Maass, Peter. Love Thy Neighbor: A Story of War. Knopf, 1996. Brings to life the horrors of Bosnia.

Malcolm, Noel. Bosnia: A Short History. New York University Press, 1994, 1996. An informed and balanced survey of Bosnian history.

Mertus, Julie, and others, eds.Trans. Jelica Todosijevic and others. The Suitcase: Refugee Voices from Bosnia and Croatia. University of California Press, 1997. An anthology of victims' stories as told to relief workers.

Pinson, Mark, ed. The Muslims of Bosnia-Herzegovina: Their Historic Development from the Middle Ages to the Dissolution of Yugoslavia. 2nd ed. Harvard University Press, 1996.

Reger, James. The Rebuilding of Bosnia. Lucent, 1997. A concise, illustrated history of the war-torn region; for middle school and high school readers.

Rieff, David. Slaughterhouse: Bosnia and the Failure of the West. Simon & Schuster, 1995. How the West failed diplomatically in Bosnia and then fell back on an inadequate peacekeeping strategy.

Sudetic, Chuck. Blood and Vengeance: One Family's Story of the War in Bosnia. Norton, 1998. Follows the lives and deaths of several generations of the Celik family, showing how the war developed around them and where it led.


Rusinow, Dennison, B.A., M.A., Ph.D. Late Adjunct Professor of History, University of Pittsburgh. Author of The Yugoslav Experiment and other books. Editor of Yugoslavia— A Fractured Federalism.

Hayden, Robert M., 3.0., Ph.D. Director, Center for Russian and East European Studies, University of Pittsburgh. Author of Blueprints for a House Divided: The Constitutional Logic of the Yugoslav Conflicts,Social Courts in Theory and Practice: Yugoslav Workers' Courts, and Imagined Communities and Real Wctims: Self-Determination and Ethnic Cleansing in Yugoslavia.

Dyker, David, M.A., D.Phil. Professor of Economics, University of Sussex. Author of Yugoslavia and After, The Technology of Transition, and The European Economy.

Microsoft ® Encarta ® 2009. © 1993-2008 Microsoft Corporation.

Article key phrases:

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