Widespread ethnic prejudice is an incomplete explanation for the development of war in the former Yugoslavia. However, high levels of prejudice in ethnic enclaves played an important role in increasing ethnic tensions and facilitating the outbreak of war. The purpose of this article is to explain county differences in average levels of ethnic prejudice in Bosnia and Croatia prior to the wars of national separation. We focus on structural characteristics of counties, such as ethnic diversity, economic conditions, and ethnic segregation and inequality, to explain county differences in average levels of prejudice. We also consider the possibility that compositional differences among counties (e.g., differences in average levels of education) explain county differences in ethnic prejudice. We combine survey data and county-level census data collected immediately prior to the wars of national separation and use hierarchical linear modeling techniques to analyze these data. Results suggest that ethnic diversity and ethnic occupational segregation decrease ethnic prejudice while ethnic economic inequality increases ethnic prejudice. Thus, structural characteristics account for some of the county differences in average levels of prejudice. County compositional differences, however, explain a majority of the county variation in ethnic prejudice. These results provide important clues to the origins of pockets of intense ethnic prejudice within diverse societies.

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