We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.


View Profile

Publication details for Dr Stefanie Kappler

Kappler, Stefanie (2014). Everyday Legitimacy in Post-Conflict Spaces: The Creation of Social Legitimacy in Bosnia-Herzegovina’s Cultural Arenas. In Liberal Peacebuilding and the Locus of Legitimacy. Roberts, David Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge. 11-38.

Author(s) from Durham


The international community has long been criticized for its lack of social
legitimacy in BiH and thus for its failure to create a sustainable social contract in
which people can identify with the version of peace that is being implemented in
the country. This is, to a large extent, due to the dysfunctionality of the public space
in the light of people’s everyday experiences of peace.
Although it has often been argued that there is hardly any legitimacy at all
in post-war BiH, this paper claims that legitimacy has been moved from the public
space to semi-public spaces, arenas where the public and the private are
interrelated. One example of locations of displaced legitimacy are local cultural
arenas, where hopes emerging in people’s everyday life are projected onto
alternative visions of peace and a corresponding social contract. In that sense,
cultural agencies have served as alternative social locations of legitimacy - as
opposed to the lack of formal political legitimacy - due to their closer connection to
people’s lives and needs.