When Yugoslavia disintegrated in the early 1990s, competence in English was not widespread. This book explores how English came to be equated with economic survival for many during and after the ensuing war through a range of diverse social and professional contexts, from the classroom to the military to the International Criminal Court. While English provided social mobility for many, its abrupt arrival also contributed to the marginalization of those without the adequate language skills. The high level of international intervention in Bosnia and Herzegovina over the last two decades has contributed to a sense of normalization of the presence of English. Viewed as a far more complex issue than simple linguistic imposition, this book explores the widespread adoption of English and its effects on a nation recovering from war.
The greatest value of this book lies in local authors cogently documenting the permutations of the spread of English in Bosnia-Herzegovina as influenced by military, political, socio-economic and instructional factors. It provides excellent examples of how unique local functions of English can be embedded in the larger regional and international contexts.
- Slobodanka Dimova, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
This important and timely volume offers absorbing insights into the meanings, uses, and impacts of English as well as into issues faced by English language professionals during the war and in its aftermath in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Focusing on the development of English in this specific context, the book provides a fascinating, vivid and poignant portrait of the Bosnian society in transition.
- Bojana Petric, Birkbeck, University of London, UK
This inspiring volume shows how and why English became a key to mobility and a language of hope in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The authors write with passion and insight about the rapid social and linguistic changes they have witnessed, as English moved from being a tool for survival in the 1990s to become a means of international engagement today.
- Michael Kelly, University of Southampton, UK
Louisa Buckingham lectures at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. Her research interests include sociolinguistics, area studies and multilingualism.