Barbara Jelavich Book Prize


Honorable Mention

Radovan Karadžić: Architect of the Bosnian Genocide

Honorable Mention: Robert Donia
Title: Radovan Karadžić: Architect of the Bosnian Genocide (Cambridge University Press)

Donia’s book examines the life of Radovan Karadžić, the Bosnian Serb political leader convicted by the ICTY for genocide, in order to understand the political, social, and economic conditions under which someone could shift from political indifference to radical nationalism, converting from an intellectual who respected people of other backgrounds into a politician intent on realizing a Serb utopian vision using any means deemed necessary. Donia’s nuanced reading utilizes a unique source: his own testimony against Karadžić as an expert witness at the ICTY, an experience that included a cross-examination by Karadžić himself. The book integrates this personal experience with close readings of previously untapped primary source material, including reports amassed by the ICTY, transcripts of the wartime sessions of the Bosnian Serb Assembly, the diaries of Ratko Mladić, Karadžić’s top military commander, and Karadžić’s speeches and texts. Ultimately, the book proves not only a biography of one génocidaire; it is also an exploration of the causes, conduct, and consequences of Bosnian Serb nationalism in the 1990s.

Winner: Jelena Batinić