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Bosna i Hercegovina
Босна и Херцеговина
Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina Coat of Arms of Bosnia and Herzegovina
( Flag) ( Coat of Arms)
Motto: none
Anthem: Intermeco
Location of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Capital Sarajevo
43°52′ N 18°25′ E
Largest city Sarajevo
Official languages Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian
• President

• Prime Minister
Federal republic
Ivo Miro Jović1 ( Croat)
Borislav Paravac ( Serb)
Sulejman Tihić ( Bosniak) Adnan Terzic
Independence From Yugoslavia:
5 April 1992
• Total
• Water (%)

51,129 km² ( 124th)
• July 2005 est.
• 1991 census
• Density

4,025,4762 ( 120th)
79/km² ( 90th)
HDI (2003) 0.786 ( 68th) – medium
• Total
• Per capita
2004 estimate
.21 billion ( 90th)
,500 ( 101st)
Currency Convertible Mark ( BAM)
Time zone
• Summer ( DST)
Internet TLD .ba
Calling code +387
1Current chairman of three-member rotating presidency.
2Population estimates vary greatly as no official census has been taken since 1991.
Bosnia and Herzegovina (locally: Bosna i Hercegovina/Босна и Херцеговина, most commonly abbreviated as BiH/БиХ) is a country in south-east Europe with an estimated population of four million people. The country is the homeland of its three ethnic constituent peoples: Bosniaks, Serbs, and Croats. Other communities that live there are not given the status of being "constituent" [1]. A citizen of Bosnia and Herzegovina, regardless of ethnicity, is usually identified as a Bosnian.The country borders with Croatia in the west and Serbia and Montenegro in the east. It is virtually landlocked save for a small strip of land (about 20km) on the Adriatic sea, centered around the city of Neum. The interior of the country is heavily mountainous and divided by various rivers, most of which are nonnavigable. The nation's capital is Sarajevo, which is also its largest city.Bosnia and Herzegovina was formerly one of the six federal units constituting Yugoslavia. The republic gained its independence in the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s and, due to the Dayton Accords, is currently administered in a supervisory role by a High Representative selected by the UN Security Council. It is also decentralized and administratively divided into two entities, the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Republika Srpska. Bosnia itself is the chief geographic region of the modern state, and forms its historical backbone. Herzegovina is the most notable among several other territories traditionally under the Bosnian political unit, and has been officially included in the country's name since the mid-nineteenth century.

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Etymology - Contents

The first preserved mention of the name "Bosnia" lies in the De Administrando Imperio, a politico-geographical handbook written by Byzantine emperor Constantine VII in 958. The Chronicle of the Priest of Duklja from 1172- 1196 also names Bosnia, and references an earlier source from the year 753. The exact meaning and origin of the word is unclear. The most popular theory holds that Bosnia comes from the name of the Bosna river around which it has been historically based. Philologist Anton Mayer proposed a connection with the Indo-European root *bos or *bogh, meaning "running water". Certain Roman sources similarly mention Bathinus flumen, or the Illyrian word Bosona, both of which would mean "running water" as well. Other theories involve the rare Latin term Bosina, meaning boundary, and possible Slavic origins.The origins of the word "Herzegovina" can be identified with more precision and certainty. During the Early Middle Ages the region was known as Hum or Zahumlje, named after the Zachlumoi tribe of Slavs which inhabited it. In the 1440s, the region was ruled by powerful nobleman Stjepan Vukčić Kosača. In a document sent to Friedrich III on January 20, 1448, Stjepan Vukčić Kosača called himself Herzog of Saint Sava, lord of Hum and Primorje, great duke of the Bosnian kingdom (Herzog means duke in German) and so the lands he controlled would later become known as Herzog's lands or Herzegovina.

History - Contents

Pre-Slavic period
Bosnia has been inhabited at least since Neolithic times. In the early Bronze Age, the Neolithic population was replaced by more warlike Indo-European tribes known as the Illyres or Illyrians. Celtic migrations in the 4th and 3rd century BCE displaced many Illyrian tribes from their former lands, but some Celtic and Illyrian tribes mixed. Concrete historical evidence for this period is scarce, but overall it appears that the region was populated by a number of different peoples speaking distinct languages. Conflict between the Illyrians and Romans started in 229 BCE, but Rome wouldn't complete its annexation of the region until 9 CE. In the Roman period, latin-speaking settlers from all over the Roman empire settled among the Illyrians and Roman soldiers were encouraged to retire in the region.Christianity had already arrived in the region by the end of the 1st century, and numerous artifacts and objects from the time testify to this. Following events from the years 337 and 395 when the Empire split, Dalmatia and Pannonia were included in the Western Roman Empire. The region was conquered by the Ostrogoths in 455, and further exchanged hands between the Alans and Huns in the years to follow. By the 6th century, Emperor Justinian had re-conquered the area for the Byzantine Empire. The Slavs, a migratory people from northeastern Europe, were subjugated by the Eurasian Avars in the 6th century, and together they invaded the Eastern Roman Empire in the 6th and 7th centuries, settling in what is now Bosnia and Herzegovina and the surrounding lands. The Serbs and Croats came in a second wave, invited by Emperor Heraclius to drive the Avars from Dalmatia.

Medieval Bosnia
Bosnia in 10th century Bosnian state during Ban Kulin 1180-1204 Bosnian state during king Tvrtko 1353-1391 Borders of Bosnian state in second part of 15th century Bosnia and Herzegovina in second part of 19th century
Bosnia in 10th century
Bosnian state during Ban Kulin 1180-1204
Bosnian state during king Tvrtko 1353-1391
Borders of Bosnian state in second part of 15th century
Bosnia and Herzegovina in second part of 19th century
Modern knowledge of the political situation in the west Balkans during the dark ages is patchy and confusing. Upon their arrival, the Slavs brought with them a tribal social structure, which probably fell apart and gave way to feudalism only with Frankish penetration into the region in the late 9th century (Bosnia probably originated as one such pre-feudal Slavic entity). It was also around this time that the south Slavs were Christianized. Bosnia, due to its geographic position and terrain, was probably one of the last areas to go through this process, which presumably originated from the urban centers along the Dalmatian coast. The kingdoms of Serbia and Croatia split control of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the 9th and 10th century, but by the high middle ages political circumstance led to the area being contested between the Kingdom of Hungary and the Byzantine empire. Following another shift of power between the two in the late 12th century, Bosnia found itself outside the control of both and emerged as an independent state under the rule of local bans.The first notable Bosnian monarch, Ban Kulin, presided over nearly three decades of peace and stability during which he strengthened the country's economy through treaties with Dubrovnik and Venice. His rule also marked the start of a controversy with the Bosnian Church, an indigenous Christian sect considered heretical by both the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches. In response to Hungarian attempts to use church politics regarding the issue as a way to reclaim sovereignty over Bosnia, Kulin held a council of local church leaders to renounce the heresy in 1203. Despite this, Hungarian ambitions remained unchanged long after Kulin's death in 1204, waning only after an unsuccessful invasion in 1254.Bosnian history from then until the early 14th century was marked by the power struggle between the Šubić and Kotromanić families. This conflict came to an end in 1322, when Stephen II Kotromanić became ban. By the time of his death in 1353, he had succeeded in annexing territories to the north and west, as well as Zahumlje and parts of Dalmatia. He was succeeded by his nephew Tvrtko who, following a prolonged struggle with nobility and inter-family strife, gained full control of the country in 1367. Under Tvrtko, Bosnia grew in both size and power, finally becoming an independent kingdom in 1377. Following his death in 1391 however, Bosnia fell into a long period of decline. The Ottoman Empire had already started its conquest of Europe and posed a major threat to the Balkans throughout the first half of the 15th century. Finally, after decades of political and social instability, Bosnia oficially fell in 1463. Herzegovina would follow in 1482, with a Hungarian-backed reinstated "Bosnian Kingdom" being the last to succumb in 1527.

Ottoman era
The Ottoman province of Bosnia.
The Ottoman province of Bosnia.
The Ottomans under sultan Mehmed Fatih conquered the region in 1463, although parts of the country held out until late 15th century. The Ottoman rule introduced a number of key changes in political and social administration of the country, namely a new landholding system (see timar), a reorganization of administrative units (see sandžak and vilayet, and a complex system of social differentiation by class (see askeri and reaya) and religious affiliation. Over four centuries of Ottoman rule, the population make-up of Bosnia drastically changed several times as a result of Ottoman conquests, frequent wars with the Habsburgs, migrations, and epidemics. Furthermore, a native bosnian speaking Bosnian Muslim community emerged during the long Ottoman rule mainly as a result of gradually rising number of conversions to Islam, while a significant number of Sephardi Jews settled in Sarajevo after their expulsion from Spain in late 15th century. The Bosnian Christian communities also experienced major changes. The Bosnian Franciscans (and the Catholic population as a whole) were protected by official imperial decree, but on the ground these guarantees were often disregarded; the Orthodox community in Bosnia initially prospered under Ottoman rule, but was later dominated by the Greek Orthodox patriarchs; and the little-known Bosnian Church disappeared altogether. The agrarian unrest in the province in the 19th century eventually sparked a widespread peasant uprising in 1875; the conflict rapidly spread and involved several Balkan states and Great Powers, which eventually forced the Ottomans to cede administration of the country to Austria-Hungary in 1878, thus ending over four centuries of Ottoman rule over Bosnia.

Austrio-Hungarian rule
From 1878 to 1918, Bosnia was administered and from the 1908 annexation directly ruled by Austria-Hungary. Habsburg rule over the region did much to codify laws and introduce new political practices and modernization measures, in the hope of keeping Bosnia a stable and model South Slav province that would resist the forces of nationalism. However, World War I began with the assassination in Sarajevo of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne; the assassin was Gavrilo Princip, a member of the " Mlada Bosna" organization.

The first Yugoslavia
Following the war, Bosnia was incorporated into the South Slav kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (later renamed the kingdom of Yugoslavia). Political life in Bosnia at this time (from 1918 to 1941) was marked by two major trends: social and economic unrest over property redistribution, and formation of several political parties that frequently changed coalitions and alliances with parties in other Yugoslav regions. The redrawing of administrative regions into banovina units only exacerbated this process, which also encouraged plans for the official partition of Bosnia between Croatia and Serbia in the late 1930s.

World War II
When the kingdom of Yugoslavia was invaded by Nazi forces in World War II, all of Bosnia was ceded to the the Nazi-puppet state Croatia. The Nazi rule over Bosnia led to widespread persecution, murder, and near-total annihilation of the Jewish population across Bosnia, while the NDH Croatian state also specifically persecuted the Serbian population in the country. Bosnia thus became the central region in a war that included German, Italian and Croatian armies as well as troops by the royalist Serbian regime and the anti-fascist movement. On 25 November 1943 the Anti-Fascist Council of National Liberation of Yugoslavia with Marshal Tito at its helm held a founding conference in Jajce where Bosnia and Herzegovina was reestablished as a republic within the Yugoslavian federation in its Ottoman borders. The conference's conclusions were later confirmed by the Yugoslavian constitution. 25 November is considered a day of national statehood in Bosnia today.

Socialist Yugoslavia
From 1945 to 1948, the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was established under the leadership of Josip Broz Tito. Yugoslavia consisted of the present-day states of Bosnia, Croatia, Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro, and Slovenia until it broke up in 1990 when the Communist party failed to win the election.

The Bosnian War and Massacre
The Bosnian-Herzegovinian declaration of sovereignty in October of 1991 was followed by a referendum for independence from Yugoslavia in February 1992 boycotted by the Bosnian-Herzegovinian Serbs.Bosnian Serbs responded shortly thereafter with armed attacks on Bosnian-Herzegovinian Croats and Bosniaks aimed at partitioning the republic along ethnic lines and joining Serb-held areas. The UNPROFOR (UN Protection Force) was deployed in Bosnia and Herzegovina in mid-1992. 1992 and 1993 saw the greatest bloodshed in Europe after 1945. Following the peace agreement proposal by Lord Owen in 1993, which practically intended to divide the country into three ethnically pure parts, an armed conflict developed between Bosniak and Croat units in a virtual territorial grab. It was later established that Croat military actions were directly supported by the government of Croatia which made this also an international conflict [2]. At that time about 70% of the country was in Serb control, and the rest was controlled by Bosniaks and Croats.In March 1994, Bosniaks and Croats reduced the number of warring factions from three to two by signing an agreement creating a joint Bosniak-Croat Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.Each nation reported many casualties in the three-sided conflict, in which the Bosniaks reported the highest number of deaths and casualties. However, the only case officially ruled by the U.N. Hague tribunal as genocide was the Srebrenica massacre of 1995. At the end of the war approximately 102,000 people had been killed according to the ICTY [3] and more than 2 million people fled their homes (including over 1 million to neighboring nations and the west).On November 21, 1995, in Dayton, Ohio, presidents of Bosnia and Herzegovina ( Alija Izetbegović), Croatia ( Franjo Tuđman), and Serbia ( Slobodan Milošević) signed a peace agreement that brought a halt to the three years of war in the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina (the final agreement was signed in Paris on 14 December 1995). The Dayton Agreement succeeded in ending the bloodshed in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and it institutionalized the division between the Bosnian-Herzegovinian Muslim and Croat entity - Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (51% of the territory), and the Bosnian-Herzegovinian Serb entity - Republika Srpska (49%). Inter-Entity Boundary Line delineates the administrative division of the two Entities.The enforcement of the implementation of the Dayton Agreement was through a UN mandate using various multinational forces: NATO-led IFOR (Implementation Force), which transitioned to the SFOR (Stabilisation Force) the next year, which in turn transitioned to the EU-led EUFOR at end of 2004. The civil administration of Bosnia and Herzegovina is headed by the High Representative of the international community.Today the Dayton agreement is considered by many as one of the most controversial pieces of diplomacy that resulted from the Bosnian War. According to most experts while on one hand Dayton agreement did successfully end the war on the other it legitimized territorial gains achieved through ethnic cleansing and genocide, and it created enormous bureaucratic obstacles for Bosnian Herzegovinian tendencies for European integration. As a result many reforms are taking place in Bosnia and Herzegovina today as part of the revisions to the Dayton agreement such as unifying of army and police forces and enforcing of state level institutions. However, the most controversial part and the main clause of the Dayton agreement that stipulated territorial and administrative division of the country still remains in force and unchanged.

Politics - Contents

The Chair of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina rotates among three members ( Bosniak, Serb, Croat), each elected as the Chair for a 8-month term within their 4-year term as a member. The three members of the Presidency are elected directly by the people (Federation votes for the Bosniak/Croat, Republika Srpska for the Serb). The Chair of the Council of Ministers is nominated by the Presidency and approved by the House of Representatives. He or she is then responsible for appointing a Foreign Minister, Minister of Foreign Trade, and others as appropriate.The Parliamentary Assembly is the lawmaking body in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It consists of two houses: the House of Peoples and the House of Representatives. The House of Peoples includes 15 delegates, two-thirds of which come from the Federation (5 Croat and 5 Bosniaks) and one-third from the Republika Srpska (5 Serbs). The House of Representatives is composed of 42 Members, two-thirds elected from the Federation and one-third elected from the Republika Srpska.The Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina is the supreme, final arbiter of legal matters. It is composed of nine members: four members are selected by the House of Representatives of the Federation, two by the Assembly of the Republika Srpska, and three by the President of the European Court of Human Rights after consultation with the Presidency.

Subdivisions - Contents

Entities of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Cantons of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Municipalities of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Bosnia and Herzegovina has several levels of political structuring under the federal government. Most important of these is the division of the country into entities (Republika Srpska and the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina). The Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina covers some 51% of Bosnia and Herzegovina's total area, while Republika Srpska covers around 49%. The entities were officially established by the Dayton peace agreement in 1995 due to tremendous changes in Bosnia and Herzegovina's ethnic structure. This was caused by the ethnic cleansing of non-Serb population, the influx of Bosnian Serb refugees from the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina due to Bosnian war (1992-1995) and Croatian Serb refugees from Croatia due to the Croatian war (1991-1995). Bosnian Serb government resettlement policy also played a part, and some resettlement took place after the war following the Dayton Peace Agreement, subsequent to setting political boundaries ( IEBL).Since 1996 the power of the entities relative to the federal government has decreased significantly. Nonetheless, entities still have numerous powers to themselves. The Brčko federal district in the north of the country was created in 2000 out of land from both entities. It officially belongs to both, but is governed by neither, and functions under a decentralized system of local government. With a level of prosperity far above national average and a multiethnic population, the Brčko district is widely considered a model for future restructuring of Bosnia and Herzegovina's political subdivisions.The third level of Bosnia and Herzegovina's political subdivision, after the entities and federal government, is represented by cantons. The Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina entity consists of ten of them. All of them have their own cantonal government, which is under the law of the Federation as a whole. Some cantons are ethnically mixed and have special rules implemented to ensure the equality of all constituent peoples.The fourth level of political division in Bosnia and Herzegovina are the municipalities. The country consists of 137 municipalities, of which 74 are in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and 63 in Republika Srpska. Municiaplities also have their own local government and are typically based around the most significant city or place in the region. Each canton consists of several municipalities. The municipalities themselves are further divided into local communities (locally: Mjesne zajednice/Мјесне заједнице). Besides entities, cantons, and municipalities, Bosnia and Herzegovina also has four "official" cities. These are: Banja Luka, Mostar, Sarajevo, and East Sarajevo. The territory and government of the cities of Banja Luka and Mostar corresponds to the municipalities of the same name, while the cities of Sarajevo and East Sarajevo officially consist of several municipalities. Cities have their own city government whose power is in between that of the municipalities and cantons (or entities in Republika Srpska).

Geography - Contents

Map of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Map of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Red flower from central Bosnia
Red flower from central Bosnia
Mountains in Bosnia, view of mountain Kik (right mountain) which is 1000m and Rance (Suvi Vrh) to the left 1432m
Mountains in Bosnia, view of mountain Kik (right mountain) which is 1000m and Rance (Suvi Vrh) to the left 1432m

Bosnia is located in the western Balkans, bordering Croatia to the north and south-west, and Serbia and Montenegro to the east. The country is mostly mountainous, encompassing the central Dinaric Alps. The northeastern parts reach into the Pannonian basin, while in the south it almost borders the Adriatic. The country has only 23 Km of coastline, around the town of Neum in the Herzegovina-Neretva Canton, although it's enclosed within Croatian territory and territorial waters.The country's name comes from the two regions Bosnia and Herzegovina, which have a very vaguely defined border between them. Bosnia occupies the northern areas which are roughly four fifths of the entire country, while Herzegovina occupies the rest in the south part of the country.The major cities are the capital Sarajevo, Banja Luka in the northwest region known as Bosanska Krajina, Tuzla in the northeast and Mostar, the capital of Herzegovina.

Economy - Contents

For the most part, agriculture has been in private hands, but farms have been small and inefficient, and food has traditionally been a net import for the republic. The centrally planned economy has resulted in some legacies in the economy. Industry is greatly overstaffed, reflecting the rigidity of the planned economy. Under Josip Broz Tito, military industries were pushed in the republic; Bosnia hosted a large share of Yugoslavia's defense plants. Two major export companies in former Yugoslavia had theirs headquarters in the capital Sarajevo; UNIS holding and Energoinvest.During times of the former Yugoslavia, Bosnia and Herzegovina financed many large construction projects in former Yugoslavia and in other former Yugoslav republics. An example of this was the Bratstvo i jedinstvo highway, which linked Ljubljana (Slovenia) - Zagreb (Croatia) - Belgrade (Serbia) - Skoplje (Macedonia). Even though Bosnia did not have anything to gain from this investment, as not a single kilometer of the highway went through Bosnia and Herzegovina. Further projects, such as the construction of the so-called town of New Belgrade (Serbia), Kosovo financing, and railway tracks near Belgrade - Bar in Serbia and Montenegro. This was due to the fact that the economy of the time was communist; with directives instead of a free economy like that in the West. In 1984, the capital, Sarajevo, was the host of the XIV Winter Olympic Games. A notable fact was that the games were the first 'profitable' games in terms of retrieving investment via profits.Three years of war destroyed a large part of the economy and infrastructure in Bosnia and Herzegovina, causing unemployment to soar and production to fall. The war caused a death toll of approximately 102,000 people based on current information from researchers at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) at The Hague. Furthermore, it displaced half of the population. Other sources place the figure between 150,000 - 278,000. With an uneasy peace in place (under the Dayton Accord), the economy has started to slowly recover, but the GDP remains below the 1990 level. Today Bosnia and Herzegovina has one of the best banking sectors in former Yugoslavia. The currency Konvertibilna marka KM or Bosnian Mark BAM, fixed to the euro (1:0.51) is also very stable.Yearly inflation is the lowest compared to other countries which were a part of former Yugoslavia. The inflation rate was 1.9% in 2004, and international debt was approx. billion; making it the smallest amount of debt owed from the former Yugoslav countries (Serbia and Montenegro's international debt is .2 billion). Real GDP growth rate is 5.0% for 2004 according to the Bosnian Central Bank of BiH and Statistical Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina.Top Foreign company investors in Bosnia and Herzegovina (1994-2004): LNM Holding / KCIC Holland Antilles / Kuwait / Metal processing Hypo Alpe Adria Bank / Austria / Banking Unicredito / Transmadrid Italia / Spain / Banking Petrol / Slovenia / Trade Coca Cola Beverages Holdings / Holland / Food industry Deutsche Telekom / Germany / Telecommunication Heidelberger Zement / Germany / Construction materials Dubai I.B., A.I.B. and Islamic Development Bank / UAE and Saudi Arabia / Banking Alpha Baumanergement Gesellschaft / Austria / Tourism Bosmal / Malaysia-Bosnia and Herzegovina

Demographics - Contents

Ethnic composition of Bosnia & Herzegovina in 1991.  (Click to enlarge image for details)
Ethnic composition of Bosnia & Herzegovina in 1991.
(Click to enlarge image for details)
Ethnic composition of Bosnia & Herzegovina in 2005.  Green: Predominantly ethnic Bosniaks  Red: Predominantly ethnic Serbs  Blue: Predominantly ethnic Croats
Ethnic composition of Bosnia & Herzegovina in 2005.
Green: Predominantly ethnic Bosniaks
Red: Predominantly ethnic Serbs
Blue: Predominantly ethnic Croats
Large population migrations durings the Yugoslav wars in the 1990s have caused a large demographic shift. No census was held since 1991 and is not planned for the near future due to political disagreements. Since censuses are the only statistical, inclusive, and objective way to analyze demographics, almost all of the post-war data is simply an estimate. Most sources, however, estimate the population at roughly 4 million (representing a decrease of 350,000 since 1991).According to the 1991 census, Bosnia and Herzegovina had a population of 4,354,911. Ethnically, 43.7% were Bosniaks, 31.3% Serbs, and 17.3% Croats, with 5.5% declaring themselves Yugoslavs.In Bosnia and Herzegovina, there is a strong correlation between ethnic identity and religion because 88% of Croats are Roman Catholics, 90% of Bosniaks practice Islam, and 93% of Serbs are Orthodox Christians.According to 2000 data from the CIA World Factbook, Bosnia and Herzegovina is ethnically 48% Bosniak, 37.1% Serb, 14.3% Croat, 0.6% other.Tensions between the three constitutional peoples remain high in Bosnia and often provoke political disagreements. Each of the three peoples are influential to roughly a same degree in Bosnia with Bosniaks being the most numerous, Serbs having their own entity and Croats being the wealthiest and economically the strongest.

Education - Contents

As part of the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Bosnia enjoyed a highly-developed educational system. This system not only encouraged study and higher education, but it also respected academic achievements. Two of Bosnia’s natives were awarded Nobel Prizes from this era: Vladimir Prelog, for chemistry in 1975, and Ivo Andrić, for literature in 1961. This concentration of talent is remarkable in a country whose total population was severely depleted due to the diaspora of individuals fleeing during the recent war years. Bosnian college students abroad are good and recognized students; most of them attend universities in North America and other European countries.The recent war created a “brain drain” and resulted in many Bosnians working in high-tech, academic and professional occupations in North America, Europe, and Australia. Such situation is viewed as an economic opportunity for building a vibrant economy in today’s Bosnia. However, only few of Bosnia’s diaspora are returning to Bosnia and Herzegovina with their experience, western education and exposure to modern business practices. Most still lack professional incentives to justify widespread and permanent return to their homeland.Bosnia’s current educational system—with seven universities, one in every major city, plus satellite campuses—continues to turn out highly-educated graduates in math, science and literature. However, they have not been modernized in last 15 years due to war, various political and economic reasons and as a result do not meet Western educational standards which are part of criteria for EU membership. The need for reform of the current Bosnian education system is generally acknowledged although specific methods for its change have still not been formulated.

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