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Article

Abstract

I think it obvious that while we may owe Bosnians a great deal, we owe Bosnia nothing. In the quotidian bustle of politics, we seldom pose ultimate questions about the existing order-we tend to assume France or Japan as a kind of given-but such heuristics hardly should, and barely can, apply to a shadow like Bosnia. Almost everyone agrees that Bosnia today is dysfunctional, its existence too contingent to take for granted, and so we reasonably may and properly should ask fundamental constitutional questions about its future, its people, and their state. And yet: Bosnia. The name conjures a moral vision more than an actual state. A moral vision and a political commitment: to "no peace without justice," to "never again," to not rewarding aggression, to multiculturalism and the political irrelevance of ethnicity, to cosmopolitanism over postmodem neo-tribalism. We have come to believe in a commitment to preserve, to restore, to redeem the state of Bosnia.

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