Given these premises, and considering the prominent role that the EU is playing in B&H, this research focuses on the personal attempts of NGO staff members to reconcile the two alternative patterns of regulatory behaviour provided by inclusiveness (the model explicitly suggested by the EU) and exclusiveness (the model prevailing in the domestic arena). NGOs have been selected because, given the specificity of the Bosnian context, they emerge in the wider realm of civil society through their connections with the international environment (in its broader meaning: foreign governments, transnational NGOs, international governmental agencies, informal relationships with foreign actors, and so on), whereas other kinds of ‘traditional’ civil society organisations (trade unions, war veterans’ associations, sport clubs, and so on) do not have such connections. The empirical findings were collected through 27 semi-structured, face-toface interviews with NGO staff members that took place in the four main cities of B&H – Sarajevo, Tuzla, Banja Luka, Mostar – in February, April and June 2008. The dimensions investigated and indicators are summarised in Table 5.1. With regard to nationalism, this wide concept usually encompasses three distinct aspects: sentiments, doctrines and politics (Breuilly 1999: 43). Considering the focus of this research on ‘issues such as national identity or culture or ways of life’ (Breuilly 1999: 43), nationalism is meant in terms of ‘sentiments’, that is, it is an identity bulwark which is both a collective and an individual phenomenon (Jenkins 2008). The basic assumption at stake is that ethnicity – if appropriately channelled through a constructive dialogue – can strengthen the democratic

process within a given pluralistic system, while ethnicisation (the politicisation of ethnicity) challenges the very core of a democratic system, that is the respect for differences in the achievement of the common good. As Schöpflin puts it, ethnicity ‘can undermine democracy when either the state or civil society or both is too weak to contain it and thereby ethnic criteria are used for state and civic purposes’ (1997: 14). Finally, it is useful to demarcate the phenomenon in question as ‘ethno-nationalism’, in order to avoid misunderstanding nationalism as ‘patriotism’ or ‘civic nationalism’ – that is, loyalty to one’s own state (Connor 1995). I refer to the EU as a normative power, a global actor ‘founded on and [which] has as its foreign and development policy objectives the consolidation of democracy, rule of law, and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms’ (Manners 2002: 241). EU institutions consider NGOs as ‘ideal partners’ in the process of democracy-and civil society-building, especially as far as external relations and enlargement policies are concerned (European Commission 2000). As will become evident, a constructivist approach has shaped this qualitative research, since constructivism allows us to investigate the ‘transformative impact’ of the European project on agents’ narratives, identity and preferences (Christiansen et al. 2001; Checkel 2001). Europeanisation is defined here as an ‘interactive process’, which can concern people even ‘without specific pressure from Brussels’ (Radaelli 2004: 4). It has been investigated through the narratives of Europe, which NGO members construct and interiorise.