Gerard Toal and Carl T. Dahlman
Bosnia Remade is an authoritative account of ethnic cleansing and its partial undoing in the Bosnian wars from 1990 to the present. The two authors, both political geographers, combine a bird's-eye view of the entire war from onset to aftermath with a micro-level account of three towns that underwent ethnic cleansing and--later--the return of refugees. Through the lens of critical geopolitics, which highlights the power of both geopolitical discourse and spatial strategies, Toal and Dahlman focus on the two attempts to remake the ethnic structure of Bosnia since 1991. The first attempt was by ascendant ethnonationalist forces that tried to eradicate the mixed ethnic structures of Bosnia's towns, villages and communities. While these forces destroyed tens of thousands of homes and lives, they failed to destroy Bosnia-Herzegovina as a polity. The second attempt followed the war. The international community, in league with Bosnian officials, tried to undo the demographic consequences of ethnic cleansing.
This latter effort has moved in fits and starts, but as the authors show, it has re-made Bosnia, producing a country that has moved beyond the stark segregationist geography created by ethnic cleansing. By showing how ethnic cleansing can be reversed, Toal and Dahlman offer more than just a comprehensive narrative of Europe's worst political crisis in the past two decades. They also offer lessons for addressing an enduring global problem.