Lecture by Prof. Dr. David Pettigrew from Southern Connecticut University

Prof. Dr. David Pettigrew from Southern Connecticut University gave his second lecture of the year at the International University of Sarajevo (IUS) titled "National Unification Through Constitutional Reform". In his lecture Prof. Dr. David Pettigrew was focused on the extent to which, through genocide denial, human rights violations and threats of referenda and secession, the leadership of Republika Srpska continues to engender social divisions in Bosnia, preventing reconciliation and destabilizing the region. More pointedly, the glorification of war criminals, the erection of memorials to the perpetrators, the prohibition of memorials for the victims and demeaning comments directed at Bosnians, their government, their institutions, and their language, along with intimidating posters and slogans across RS, amount either to a continuation of the genocide, or, alternatively, to the classical predictors or precursors of a genocide-to-come. These intentionally hurtful and divisive actions have the effect of inciting contempt and hatred against Bosnians and other non-Serbs. 

"When the de-legitimization of the national government, the normalization of atrocities, the glorification of the perpetrators, and the dehumanization of the targeted other become accepted modes of discourse, we see, once again, the seeds of genocide within the sociopolitical culture of Republika Srpska today" he said.

Regardless of the verdict in the Karadzic trial, this genocidal impulse, an impulse that seeks to demean and exclude non-Serbs, an impulse that continues to operate in Republika Srpska, through genocide denial, human rights violations, and hate speech, must be addressed decisively by the international community.