Young Bosnia and the idea of national liberation

Banja Luka, 24 November 2014


Institute of International Politics and Economics was one of the organisers of the scientific conference entitled „Young Bosnia and the idea of national liberation“ which took place at the Faculty of Political Science, University of Banja Luka, on 24 November 2014. Apart from the Faculty of Political Science as a host the conference was also organised by the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies (RISS), Moscow, Institute of Contemporary History, Belgrade and the Mission of the Republic of Srpska in Serbia.

Although during the course of the year several conferences, books and thematic issues of some journals were dedicated to Young Bosnia, Gavrilo Princip and the July Crisis which had preceded the outbreak of World War I, the participants in the round table presented original and refreshing ideas on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Great War. The topics that were presented treated the European and local (Bosnian) context within which Young Bosnia had been ideologically created. It was a heterogeneous organisation by its multi-religious membership (members were Gavrilo Princip, Nedeljko Čabrinović, Ivo Andrić, Mustafa Golubić, Muhamed Mehmedbašić, etc.) as well as by its various ideas and convictions (from the Kosovo oath, through Serbian patriotism and nationalism to revolutionary ideas of national liberation and social justice and Yugoslavism).

As a host of the conference Prof. Nenad Kecmanović greeted the participants, what was also done by Prof. Momčilo Pavlović on behalf of Institute of Contemporary History and Institute of International Politics and Economics. A welcome speech was delivered by Prof. Siniša Karan, General Secretary of the Cabinet of the President of the Republic of Srpska. Srđa Trifković, Ph.D., presented the chronology of preparations for the war and dispelled any doubts that Germany and Austria-Hungary had not been responsible for the outbreak of the war. Miloš Ković, Ph.D., pointed to the Kosovo oath and other ideas which had inspired Gavrilo Princip based on what this brave, young and very educated man wrote. Mr Ljubomir Kljakić, Prof. Bogoljub Šijaković and Slobodan Reljić, Ph.D., presented noticeable statements. Ambassador Slobodan Šoja spoke of the neglected tradition of Young Bosnia, while Jelena Vukoičić discussed the illusions of Yugoslavism. Considering the geopolitical position of the Serbian lands in 2014 Željko Budimir, M.A., pointed to the fact that Serbia had been perceived as terra nullius or the area open for colonial expansion.

Four researchers from Institute of International Politics and Economics took part in the conference by making their statements. Brano Miljuš, Ph.D., spoke of the acting of the first political organisations in Bosnia and Herzegovina before the outbreak of the Great War as well as on snowballing of the anti-Serbian policy in that province before the assassination which had been committed on St. Vitus’ Day. Slobodan Janković, Ph.D., pointed to the influence of the Italian Risorgimento and irredentism on the creation of Young Bosnia and other Serbian organisations in Austria-Hungary. Jelica Gordanić, M.A., presented her statement which she co-authored with Dragan Đukanović, Ph.D., on the position of the Slav ethnic communities in Austria-Hungary as one of the reasons for the emergence of the crisis. Mr Vladimir Trapara observed the acting of the Balkan states in the period before World War I from the aspect of offensive realism.