Michiel J. Piersma. ‘Sistem te laže!’: the anti‐ruling class mobilisation of high school students in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Nations and Nationalism. Vol 25, Issue 3, 2019. Pp. 935-953.
This article presents the case of a high school student‐led protest movement in the Bosnian towns of Jajce and Travnik. Over the course of 2016 and 2017, the students developed opposition to a plan for an ethnically segregated high school in Jajce. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, ethnicity is strongly politicised and limits the political activities of citizens to what is prescribed by the elites of their respective ethnic groups. In particular, Bosnian youth is often named as part of an apathetic ‘lost generation’ whose voices are smothered by this ethno‐political framework. I argue that the political agency of ordinary young Bosnians should not be neglected, since the formulations of their relationship with the state form meaningful political activities. The student protests in Jajce and Travnik are telling examples of their political agency. In an analysis of the protest movement's actions, I show that the students adopt a narrative that opposes the ruling political class and their prevalence of personal interests over the future of younger generations.