“The Securitization of the Zelena transverzala and Islam in the Balkans”
Laura Welty, BA MA AFHEA
Ph.D. Candidate, Unit Coordinator & Teaching Assistant
Department of Government and International Relations
University of Sydney
Tuesday, November 23, 2021, 12:30 p.m.
***This is an online event. To obtain Zoom link and password, please contact to the department.
Zelena transverzala (ZT) is a geopolitical concept that attempts to depict the actions and goals of Islamists and gained traction in the Balkans during the 1992-1995 Bosnian War. The original concept of the ZT plays off Huntington’s “Clash of Civilizations” which uses the Balkans as a prime example of a ‘fault line war’; this perception is being brought to the forefront again due to the European Refugee Crisis of 2015 as well as through a resurgence in nationalism to advance ethnically charged political agendas. Srdja Trifkovic (2009), makes historical claims about the impacts of the ZT historically, but this lacks a contemporary analysis. This research examines the use of the ZT in contemporary Balkan political discourse and its impacts on current democratic processes. Examples will include the invocation of the ZT by Serbian Foreign Minister, Ivica Dacic, as well as by Milorad Dodik, one of the current presidents of Bosnia, during his presidential campaign. Given the changing regional security environment, which stems from the evolving conflicts in the MENA, the current refugee crisis in Europe, and the recruitment of Balkan born mujahideen; Balkan leaders are readily invoking the ZT and inflating the reality of the Islamist threat for political gain.
Laura works in Comparative Politics studying ethnic conflict, religious history, nationalism, and terrorism. She is pursuing her PhD at the University of Sydney analysing counter-radicalisation strategies in Bosnia and Herzegovina. She currently is a Unit Coordinator and Teaching Assistant in the Department of Government and International Relations. She has previously held positions as a Postgraduate Teaching Fellow (2020), a Survey Administrator for the Global Party Survey (2019) and was the Project Coordinator for the Electoral Integrity Project (2018-2019).