Wilson Center Experts
Mary Kate Schneider
Mary Kate Schneider is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Maryland, College Park. Her research interests include ethnic conflict, institutional design, and national identity, focusing in particular on the Western Balkans. She has conducted field research in Serbia, Kosovo, and Bosnia-Herzegovina, and she was recently awarded a Fulbright grant to return to Bosnia-Herzegovina. Her dissertation draws from an original survey, focus groups, and interviews to assess the effects of divided education on Bosnian students’ attitudes and perceptions. She holds a B.A. in Political Science and a B.S. in Psychology from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania, as well as an M.A. in Political Science from Lehigh University.
This project measures the effect of divided education policies and practices on Bosnian students’ attitudes towards others, using data derived from a combination of written surveys, focus groups, and interviews. Its main hypothesis is that ethnic segregation, although quite effective at preventing direct physical conflict, also leads to an increase in the perceived level of threat felt by members of opposing ethnic groups. Although much has been written on the effects of divided education on students’ individual identity formation, this project is unique in that it measures the attitudes that students in Bosnia-Herzegovina hold toward members of other ethnic groups, controlling for local levels of wartime violence.