Božo Skoko

PhD Božo Skoko

Božo Skoko is an full professor at the Faculty of Political Science of the University of Zagreb, where he is head of the Public Relations postgraduate study. His scientific interests are: public relations and communications, international relations, national identity and image, as well as media. He is the co-founder of Millenium promocija, the leading Croatian public relations agency. He is a long-time strategic communications consultant. He is a former journalist and editor with Croatian Television. He is the author of seven books and over seventy scientific papers on public relations, the media and managing the identity and image of Croatia. He is a columnist with the daily newspaper Večernji list.
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Study on Perceptions of Croats, Bosniaks and Serbs

New Project of Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Foundation

In Sarajevo, organized by the German Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Foundation, the audience of intellectuals was presented with a study by author Božo Skoko, PhD, “What Croats, Bosniaks and Serbs think of each other, and what do they think about Bosnia and Herzegovina?” The study originated on the basis of an extensive study of public opinion in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The study was presented by the author himself, after which – with political scientist Đorđe Latinović as moderator – followed a discussion with the participation of university professors, representatives of the media, writers, representatives of non-governmental organizations, as well as politicians, who tried on the basis of the study to provide guidelines for improvement of relations in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Despite all of the attempts of the international community to overcome divisions and differences among the three constituent nations in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the tensions among the nations are still present, honest cooperation among the Bosniaks, Croats and Serbs is relatively low, and there are no common positions on the past or the future of this country.

The study showed that the Bosniaks, Croats and Serbs, although living for centuries in the same country, are poorly informed and interested in the others, and that their mutual perception is still burdened by stereotypes of the past and war events. For the most part, members of the individual nations inform themselves through “their” media, while most of the media do not provide sufficient information about others. Travels within Bosnia and Herzegovina, which would contribute most to breaking these stereotypes and to getting to know others, are relatively uncommon.

By analyzing stereotypes, associations and perceptions they have of each other, the study has shown that the relations among the nations are inadequate and burdened by mutual distrust. The most positive relations are those perceived among Bosniaks and Croats, followed by those among Croats and Serbs. The least positive are relations among Bosniaks and Serbs.