In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

370 letters in canada 2002 university of toronto quarterly, volume 73, number 1, winter 2003/4 tasks. He notes that Ottawa realized peacekeeping would not be enough in the former Yugoslavia, and that >peacemaking,= which involves coercive efforts to make the peace (this term also means diplomatic efforts to end conflict), was seen as required. But he neglects the fact that despite assertive mandates, the major powers never gave the mission the capability or will to act in an aggressive or effective way. It seems questionable then to argue that Canada >force[d] the hand of the UN and the international community into assuming a more interventionist role.= Overall, this is a very strong study, but the government=s engagement may have been more traditional and reactive than the author suggests. Respect for human rights and a stable, rule-bound world have long been core values and interests in Canadian foreign policy. We learn that Ottawa engaged intensely, but to a significant degree it was responding to the increased international willingness to permit intrusive multinational activities, as evidenced in Namibia, El Salvador, and elsewhere in Central America. The immediate postBCold War, postBPersian Gulf War period was immensely optimistic about the UN and multilateralism. Mulroney supported these developments. During the Chr├ętien era, the world was more pessimistic. (GRANT DAWSON) Maya Shatzmiller, editor. Islam and Bosnia: Conflict Resolution and Foreign Policy in Multi-Ethnic States McGill-Queen=s University Press. xxiv, 224. $75.00, $27.95 The essays in this well-edited volume were originally written for a conference held at the University of Western Ontario. Its aim is to study the wider context of the recent Bosnian conflict; its multi-ethnic, cultural, and religious setting and the formulation of foreign policy. In other words, to investigate >the roots of the conflict= and >to analyze the short term contingency management.= The former perspective is presented in a series of articles written by academics; the latter by veterans of foreign affairs. By bringing together the two groups of participants and the two perspectives, >it was hoped that a new approach to foreign policy making would emerge.= As is usually the case with collections of essays, they tend to be of uneven quality; some are more interesting and valuable than others. However, all the scholarly articles in the first section of the book provide some fresh historical (Fine), anthropological (Bringa), literary (Buturovic, Sells) and cultural (Volkan, Riedlmayer) insights into the formation of the Islamic identity in Bosnia, and, according to the authors, to a shared Bosnian cultural and national identity. They also view Bosnia=s past and present largely from the perspective of the Muslims rather than of their Orthodox (Serb) and Catholic (Croat) compatriots. This reflects the fact that the Muslim Bosnians endured, suffered, and lost the most in the recent humanities 371 university of toronto quarterly, volume 73, number 1, winter 2003/4 bloody conflict. All of these authors also tend to overstate B indeed, idealize B the tradition of religious and ethnic tolerance in the history of Bosnia. One can agree with their claim that the recent conflict was not solely or even primarily religious or ethnic. It is more difficult to accept the idealized picture that the authors paint of a collective cultural identity, of tolerant inter-ethnic and inter-religious relations. True, throughout most of their history the three communities lived in peace with each other; but it is equally true that such peace was maintained by strong and not impartial, let alone democratic, rules B be it Ottoman, Habsburg, Serbian, or Communist. In times of crisis, when strong rule weakened or collapsed, tolerance turned into intolerance, as was the case in the 1870s, the First and Second World Wars and the disintegration of Communist Yugoslavia. During such times inter-ethnic/religious peace gave way to struggles for control of Bosnia. To be sure, in all these cases outsiders, Serbs, Croats, and Great Powers, were involved and contributed to the turmoil. But the Bosnians of all three communities were not blameless, even though in all cases, and particularly in the most recent one, they were not equally responsible for the violence and bloodshed. Unfortunately for Bosnia, and this...


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 370-371
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.