Playing in Long Shadows: Bosnian Sport after Yugoslavia, Socialism and War

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


For Bosnia & Hercegovina, the war of 1992-5 marked a violent rupture with the republic’s socialist Yugoslav past. The shattered state that emerged from the conflict was ethnically divided, impoverished, and administered by the international community. It was a far cry from the proud multi-ethnic republic at the heart of Yugoslavia that hosted the 1984 Winter Olympic Games, and boasted many Yugoslav, European, and Olympic champions. This chapter explores the evolution of Bosnian sport before, during, and after a conflict that altered the state irrevocably. The Winter Olympic legacy and gradual reintegration of football have already attracted the attention of researchers, but the paths of other sports – including men’s and women’s basketball, handball, and volleyball – have been neglected. In addition to the long shadow of a war which devastated sports facilities, tore clubs apart, and provoked the exodus of hundreds of talented athletes, a strong socialist legacy can be observed in the republic’s sporting bodies, clubs, and facilities. In the face of innumerable difficulties, since the 1990s Bosnia & Hercegovina has added proud new sporting chapters to its history.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSport, Statehood and Transition in Europe
Subtitle of host publicationComparative Perspectives from Post-Soviet and Post-Socialist Societies
EditorsEkain Rojo-Labaien, Alvaro Rodriguez-Diaz, Joel Rookwood
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9780429325847
ISBN (Print)9780367344405
Publication statusPublished - 4 May 2020


  • Bosnia
  • Sport
  • Transition
  • History
  • Football
  • Yugoslavia
  • Socialism

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