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Why did Serbian radios in Croatia influence the subsequent rise in nationalism?

Project by Polygence alum Sanaya

Why did Serbian radios in Croatia influence the subsequent rise in nationalism?

Project's result

Sanaya wrote a Research Paper and presented her work at The Symposium of Rising Scholars.

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Why did Serbian radios in Croatia influence the subsequent rise in nationalism? Why have Serbian radios in Croatia influenced the subsequent rise in nationalism? Serbian radio is more likely to incite ethnic hatred among Croats, resulting in graffitti, vandalism and more votes for extremist parties. This paper argues that Croats were more likely to express nationalist sentiment when listening to Serbian radios because Croats and Serbs hold very different views and recall historical events contrastingly. Serb related tension and hostility is well-ingrained and any challenge to that bias evokes a particular fury in Croats. They vehemently disagree when they hear these 'incorrect' viewpoints on Serbian radio because their memory boomerang gets activated. This paper will discuss a variety of concepts and historical moments to reach its conclusion. This paper contextualises the Croatian War of Independence. The war occurred from 1991-1995 between an independence-wanting Croatia and a Serbia that wanted them to remain in Yugoslavia. This paper also uses concepts from political psychology like political polarisation—defined as the divergence of political attitudes away from the centre and towards political extremes—to explain how individuals are more likely to interact with people and sources that have similar views as them. Croatian and Serbian radios—the main way that people get their news because it is the cheapest option and is most accessible—have different media biases. Journalists and news producers within the mass media have biases in the selection of many events and stories that are reported and how they are covered. This paper draws on research from disciplines such as history, political science, and psychology. It also analyses sources such as news articles, academic research papers, encyclopaedia articles, radio shows, and videos.



Polygence mentor

PhD Doctor of Philosophy candidate


Social Science


Ethics and Public Policy; Political Theory; American Politics; Law

Review of mentor

Sam provided me with strong initial ideas that I could later develop. She was able to explain super complicated ideas in a way that made it easier for me to understand.




Graduation Year


Project review

I was blown away with how helpful my mentor Sam was with my project. The Polygence team was incredibly supportive with their feedback, and I appreciated the showcasing opportunities they provided. I had the liberty to do whatever I wanted (I picked something very niche), and Sam encouraged me throughout.