‘The Srebrenica Massacre Twenty Years On: The Legacy for Britain and Europe’


Srebrenica panel


Dr Sebina Sivac-Bryant

Anthropologist and Former Bosnian Refugee

Prof Cathie Carmichael

Professor of History at the University of East Anglia

Prof James Gow

Professor of International Peace and Security at King’s College London

TIME: 1 – 2pm, Monday 15th June 2015

VENUE: Committee Room 8, House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA

To attend please RSVP to: eventsassistant1@henryjacksonsociety.org      


It is often said that Muslims suffer genocide in various parts of the world, but the only continent where this happened in living memory is Europe, in Bosnia between 1992 and 1995. The British response to the mass killings and deportations perpetrated in pursuit of an ethnically pure ‘Greater Serbia’ was enfeebled by an unholy alliance of conservative ‘realists’ and left-wing activists, who objected to full-scale military intervention for different reasons. In the end, it required American pressure before NATO intervened decisively to force a compromise peace.

Bosnia was a formative experience for the founders of The Henry Jackson Society, and we therefore have a special obligation to mark the twentieth anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre and ask, What is the legacy of the terrible events that took place in Bosnia in 1990s? How was it possible that the situation escalated to an extent where the consequences amount to one of the most shameful events in European history since the end of the Second World War? What have we learnt from it? And how does the Bosnian War inform the challenges that we face today?

By kind invitation of Karen Lumley MP, The Henry Jackson Society is pleased to invite you to a panel discussion with Dr. Sebina Sivac-Bryant, anthropologist and former Bosnian refugee; Prof. Cathie Carmichael, Professor of History at the University of East Anglia; and Prof. James Gow, Professor of International Peace and Security at King’s College London. The speakers will explore the cultural and historical context to the tensions in Bosnia in the 1990s, the international response and its shortcomings, what justice has been brought to the victims of the Bosnian War, and what the legacy of it is for humanitarian intervention and for the Balkans today.


Ed Vulliamy is Senior Correspondent at The Observer and The Guardian. He has previously worked as the New York correspondent for The Observer and Rome correspondent for The Guardian.

Vulliamy reported extensively on the war in Bosnia, particularly on the concentration camps in northwest Bosnia operated by the Bosnian Serbs for the incarceration of Muslim and Croat inmates at Omarska and Trnopolje. He also extensively covered the 9/11 attacks, while living in New York in 2001. At the outbreak of the current war in Iraq, in March 2003, he was one of the first reporters on the ground.

In 2013, he won the award for literary reporting named after the Polish writer, Ryszard Kapuściński for his book, Amexica: War Along the Borderline. His most recent book, The War is Dead, Long Live the War: Bosnia – The Reckoning, an analysis of the Bosnian war, was published in 2012.

Dr Sebina Sivac-Bryant is an anthropologist who has conducted extensive fieldwork in post-conflict Bosnia. Born in Prijedor, she lived in Zagreb, Limerick and London after expulsion from her home town in 1992. Her doctoral thesis at UCL studied a remarkable Bosnian community that was devastated, expelled and then returned after the war to become a rare success story of returnee-led community rebuilding under hostile conditions. She was part of the research team working on the Dutch Inquiry into the Srebrenica massacre, and has published her work in the International Journal of Transitional Justice among other places.

Cathie Carmichael is Professor of History at the University of East Anglia. She is the author and editor of several books including Slovenia and the Slovenes: A Small State in the New Europe (with James Gow), Language and Nationalism in Europe (co-edited with the late Stephen Barbour), The Routledge History of Genocide (co-edited with Richard Maguire) and Ethnic Cleansing in the Balkans:  Nationalism and the Destruction of Tradition, A Concise History of Bosnia and Genocide before the Holocaust.  She has been an editor of the Journal of Genocide Research since 2008.

James Gow is Professor of International Peace and Security and Co-Director of the War Crimes Research Group at King’s College London, where he has been since 1990.

He is a non-resident scholar with the Liechtenstein Institute, Princeton University and previously lectured in European Studies at the University of Hatfield. Between 1994 and 1998, he served as an expert advisor and an expert witness for the Office of the Prosecutor at the UN International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, where he was the first ever witness at an international criminal tribunal, and has since returned as a witness. He has also served as an Expert Advisor to the UK Secretary of State for Defence and contributed to three strategic defence and security reviews.

Professor Gow has held visiting positions at the University of Sheffield, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington D.C., Columbia University, and Princeton University. His numerous publications include War and War Crimes, Prosecuting War Crimes: Lessons and Legacies of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and Security, Democracy and War Crimes (as co-author) all in 2013, as well as The Serbian Project and Its Adversaries: A Strategy of War Crimes (2003) and Triumph of the Lack of Will: International Diplomacy and the Yugoslav Conflict (1997). His current research focuses on war crimes and on the challenges of scientific and technological innovation to international law, co-funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory.

In 2012, Professor Gow won a Leverhulme Trust Major Research Fellowship for the period 2013-16 to work on the trial of General Ratko Mladic at the ICTY.


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