The symbolic domain
DOI link for The symbolic domain
The symbolic domain book
The central concern of this chapter is the contestation of international statebuilding in the symbolic domain. The analysis identifies a set of local practices that deploy symbols or symbolic practices pertaining to identity and culture in an attempt to contest the externally-led statebuilding process. The chapter looks at the notion of Bosnian identity from a historical perspective. The analysis then moves onto mapping out the official, internationally propagated, cultural narrative of the post-conflict process. The chapter focuses on the local practices of contention through symbols. The symbolic domain is of interest to an investigation of contention in environments where questions of culture and identity—whether expressed through emblems, language or architecture—have acquired distinctly political meaning. In the symbolic domain similar competing claims pertaining to identity and culture, "symbolic conflicts", underpin the interactions between internal and external agencies. The Office of the High Representative (OHR) attempts to counter acts of contention in the symbolic domain is also discussed in the chapter.