Architecture of Sovereignty: Bosnian Constitutional Crisis, the Sarajevo Town Hall, and the Mêlée
Law and Critique April 2016, Volume 27, Issue 1, pp 23-44 First online: 09 November 2015
22 Pages Posted: 26 May 2016
Date Written: April 2016
This paper addresses the processes by which the international community intervened and participated in the defining of Bosnian identity and the corresponding constitutional framework, as well as the continuous paradoxical tension between the ethnic local and claims to universalism of supranational legal norms. In particular, the 1995 Constitution and the architecture of its sovereignty have been contested through provisions of the European Convention of Human Rights. The analysis is further supported by the discussion of the architectonic structure of the Town Hall/National Library in Sarajevo that has had an important constitutional role since the collapse of the Ottoman period. The paper thus focuses on two sites for construction/deconstruction of Bosnian sovereignty: the constitutional framework and the more concretely visible architectural symbol of the Town Hall/National Library. This importance of a visual and spatial approach to Bosnian realities is carried further by the 1993 ‘Eulogy’ that Jean-Luc Nancy wrote for Sarajevo, as a site of the Mêlée.
Keywords: Architecture, Bosnia and Herzegovina, European Court of Human Rights, History of public international law, Jacques Derrida, Jean-Luc Nancy, Sovereignty, Supranational citizenship
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