Regular Forums continue on the first Monday of every month (or the second, if the first falls on a Bank Holiday) from 7 pm to 9 pm at our usual venue, The Boardroom, University of Westminster, 309 Regent Street, W1 (in association with the Centre for the Study of Democracy). The next meeting will take place on 4 September 2006, and details will be announced in the usual way on the Bosnian Institute website, www.bosnia.org.uk, and in invitations sent by e-mail or post to friends of the Institute.
The BI forum on 3 April 2006 held a lively and packed discussion on ‘EU enlargement and the Balkans - the view from Brussels’ introduced by John Palmer, one of the most authoritative commentators on EU affairs, recently returned to Britain after thirty years based in Brussels, first as European editor of The Guardian, later as director of the European Policy Centre.
On 8 May 2006 we were fortunate to have as our guest speaker Amila Buturović, who teaches Islamic Studies at York University in Toronto who has written extensively on Islamic cultures in S-E Europe, on writers from Dizdar to Selimović, on women and Sufism, and who is currently editing a work on women in the Ottoman Balkans; she introduced a highly stimulating discussion on ‘Islam and secularism: exercising or exorcising God’s will?’
The 5 June 2006 forum was one of our most successful, with Robert J. Donia, one of the foremost historians of B-H in the English-speaking world, speaking to a large audience on ‘The Making of the Sarajevo Siege’, in the wake of the recent publication of his substantial Sarajevo: a Biography (2006) - the available copies of which were all snapped up.
The forum on 3 July 2006 was an excellent conclusion to this academic year’s programme, with the prominent Sarajevo political philosopher Zlatko Hadžidedić, who edits a politics and social science list for the publisher Buybook, introducing a vigorous debate on ‘The constitutional issue in B-H’, a question that has dominated Bosnian politics for the past months and will continue to do so.