Chapter 11. Disputes over national holidays

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This chapter analyzes the discourse of leading politicians in Bosnia and Herzegovina on the occasion of national holidays from 2000 to 2010. Fifteen years after the Dayton Agreement, Bosnia and Herzegovina has no common law on national holidays at the state level. This lack is due to varying concepts of history and how the state should be organized, and reveals deep-rooted conflicts in a society consisting of Bosniaks, Serbs, and Croats. Each of the two administrative parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina, referred to as entities, has its own holidays that are contested by the other entity. Within the Bosniak-Croat entity, there is a conflict between the two groups that constitute it. The discourse used to mark holidays is usually aimed at legitimizing one’s own holidays and delegitimizing others’ holidays. The analysis shows how the (de)legitimization strategies relate to time, space, and modality.


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