A Balkan Spring?

A joke often retold in Bosnia and Herzegovina says: “Why is there no sex in any state firms or government buildings? Because everyone is related to each other”. Thanks to prevailing nepotism in the public sector, that is. This joke perfectly portrays the self-ironic attitude of the Balkan mentality that develops as one quickly learns that succeeding in life evolves more around building “a network” than spending time in the library. Yet, in February of 2014, “that joke isn’t funny anymore”[1]. 30 years after the Sarajevo Winter Olympic Games, 20 years after the War ended, 10 years after SFOR (NATO) peacekeepers left Bosnia, 2014 might be a contender to being another historical moment in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The people have had enough of their everyday life being joke material. And we have been witnesses to this in the last days as thousands of people have taken on the streets of several cities around the country. Could this pave the way for a Balkan Spring?

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