The Balkans are a region of immense beauty at the crossroads of many of the world’s great cultures, religions, and civilizations. Unfortunately, the region has also been the site of continuing bloodshed and conflict. The global violence that traumatized much of the planet in the 20th century in World Wars I and II began in Sarajevo. Brutal regional conflicts in Bosnia, Croatia, and Kosovo continued with the breakup of Yugoslavia that ushered in the 21st century. BI was born out of interest in exploring the lessons that can be learned from such persistent violence as well as the continuing need to apply them globally to post-conflict transformations.
BI’s goal, like the aforementioned photograph of the City of Mostar, is to bridge the gap between ancient misunderstandings, and cultural, ethnic, and religious tolerance in the 21st Century. By linking theory to practice, BI aims at enhancing peaceful post-conflict transformations, and facilitating permanent and sustainable regional peace. With a focus on understanding rapidly changing social, political, and economic environments, the Institute seeks to construct an interactive network of scholars, stakeholders, and entrepreneurs dedicated to strengthening the prospects of a democratic and prosperous future -- from Zagreb to Istanbul.