What does your research focus on?
In my research, I am examining socio-psychological processes of sustainable intergroup reconciliation with a particular focus on a post-conflict society of Bosnia and Herzegovina. More specifically, using both qualitative and quantitative methodological approaches I examine the following questions: 1) antecedents of acknowledgment and acceptance of ingroup responsibility; 2) antecedents and consequences of collective emotions such as guilt and shame; 3) socio-psychological processes that might facilitate intergroup forgiveness; and 4) effects of apologies and reparation offers on various reconciliation indicators.
What drew you to this line of research and why is it exciting to you?
Coming from and living in a region marked by history of occupation, conflict, war but also co-existence, common heritage, culture, and experience of unity. I find my work very exciting as I research an important, relevant and highly applicable phenomena of how to come to terms with the past marked by collective violence and gross human right violations and at the same time pave the road towards sustainable reconciliation
Who were/are your mentors or scientific influences?
Professor Rupert Brown, the University of Sussex, UK; Emanuele Castano, the New School for Social Research, New York; Colin Leach, the University of Connecticut.
What’s your future research agenda?
To continue with the same level of excitement with the current research agenda; create and implement more applied research projects here in Bosnia and Herzegovina; and involve more young scholars from the region. In terms of the research question, I would love to examine the antecedents of victimized identity as an important obstructive element towards reconciliation.
What publication are you most proud of?
Čehajić, S., Effron. D., Halperin, E., Liberman, V., & Ross, L. (2011). Affirmation, acknowledgment of ingroup responsibility, group-based guilt, and support for reparative measures. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 101, 256–270.
Today I work at the (first) private university in Bosnia and Herzegovina — Sarajevo School of Science and Technology — teaching political psychology in the Department of Political Science and International Relations. I am also very proud to announce that we will be launching a first in the region: an interdisciplinary, and internationally accredited, Master’s program in Conflict Analysis and Reconciliation.