[ anticipated completion December 2023 ]

"Conflict Prevention and Transformation: A Study of Intergroup Contact Between Ethnic Groups in Israel and Bosnia and Herzegovina"

Intergroup contact theory suggests that increased contact between ethnic groups reduces prejudice and, consequently, violent conflict, but empirical research shows conflicting results. My dissertation tries to address this gap by exploring how different qualities and quantities of contact between groups affects intergroup relations. During my fieldwork in Israel and Bosnia and Herzegovina [commencing in September 2021], I will gather new data to conduct network and ethnographic analysis of relationships between individuals belonging to separate ethnic groups in places with prior occurrence(s) of ethnic violence. My research will offer important insights about interethnic relations and help better inform the design of national and subnational cross-group initiatives that promote peaceful relations in conflict regions.

Method: qualitative & quantitative network analysis

Work in Progress

"Internal displacement, intergenerational trauma, and cross-ethnic relationships: A comparative case study of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Israel and the occupied East Jerusalem"

What happens when intergenerational trauma is embedded in internal displacement? Particularly, what is the nature of the unique experience of individuals and their descendants displaced during ethnic violence but remaining in the territory where the original events occurred? How does the experience of internal displacement continue to impact their lives and their ability to establish and maintain meaningful cross-ethnic relationships? This paper explores the nature of intergenerational trauma as related to experiences of internal displacement, among populations in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Israel and the occupied East Jerusalem. It examines how this experience of displacement-related, intergenerational trauma affects individuals’ ability to create and maintain cross-ethnic relationships. Furthermore, it explores the connection between intergenerational trauma and the distance, in generational terms, of individuals from the original experience of displacement. Finally, it attends to the varying nature of intergenerational trauma based on whether the original perpetrator of displacement is internal or external to the current intergroup context and the blurred connection between ‘real’ perpetrators of the past and ‘perceived’ perpetrators of the future. The analysis is based on qualitative, in-depth interviews with individuals in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Israel and the occupied East Jerusalem.

Method: qualitative comparative case study analysis

"Reducing Prejudice toward Migrants: The Mediating Role of Foreign-Born and First-Generation Hosts"

Evidence contrary to the perceived incompatibility between migrant and host populations are generations of successfully incorporated migrants that become integral members of societies within which they settle. Yet these examples are rarely salient to home-grown host populations expressing anti-migrant rhetoric, perhaps exactly because these groups become less visible once they are part and parcel of the fabric that makes host societies. Nevertheless, foreign-born and first generation hosts are aware of the difficulties surrounding the migrant experience and, for some, this motivates sympathy for new migrants. In this paper, I explore how foreign-born and first-generation hosts help mediate the relationship between home-grown host populations and new migrants. Furthermore, I examine how foreign-born and first-generation hosts navigate their relationships with home-grown host populations and new migrant populations. Lastly, I assess whether the foreign-born and first-generation hosts’ mediating role can help facilitate positive intergroup contact and cross-group relationships and reduce prejudice. Preliminary findings show that although foreign-born and first generation hosts often internalize anti-migrant prejudices, they have a positive mediating role because they are able to translate simultaneously the migrant experience to home-grown host populations and host concerns to new migrants.

Method: qualitative case study analysis and autoethnography

"How do different forms of contact between ethnoreligious groups impact interfaith marriage? A case study of Bosnia and Herzegovina."

This paper examines the cumulative effect of contact between ethnic groups by looking at how having different and multiple types of relationships with ethnic others influences the likelihood of ethnic intermarriage. Drawing upon the case study of Bosnia and the relationships among her majority ethnoreligious groups (Bosniaks, Croats, and Serbs), and using an omnibus survey of 2,500 individuals in Bosnia compiled by Kantar TNS MIB, I explore how different types of contact between ethnic groups affect the probability of interfaith marriages or domestic partnerships.

Method: logistical regression

Other Publications

Mujkanović, D. (2019). Defining Nations: Necessary and Reinforcing Attributes. Pitt Policy Journal, 10 (Spring), 70–87. [ link ]

Considering cases of self-identifying nations may, at first glance, highlight their frequently appearing attributes. However, determining which of these attributes are essential to nations, requires an empirical investigation. To distill nations down to their most formative characteristics, I begin by addressing which, if any, of their frequently appearing attributes also test positively as necessary for their status as such. I argue that while most of these attributes (language, territory, etc.) are unnecessary, they serve to strengthen nations and can be recognized as reinforcing attributes. I further suggest that collective memory is the one necessary attribute of nations, and I define components of that collective memory that critically distinguish nations from other collectives. Finally, for empirical illustration, I apply my conception of nations to a case study of Bosniaks, Croats, and Serbs, three robust, complex, and often conflicting nations residing in the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Method: theory development