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Title: The dynamics of statebuilding in post-war Bosnia and Herzegovina, 1995-2005
Author: Gillingham, Snježana
Awarding Body: Oxford University
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2012
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This thesis analyses the discrepancy between the objectives and outcomes of internationally-led state-building in Bosnia and Herzegovina between 1995 and 2005. It centres on the phenomenon of ethnic territorialisation: the construction and/or consolidation of one ethnic group's demographic and political predominance in a given territory. This phenomenon was the product of complex interactions between international and domestic actors, and the analysis consequently stretches from the structures and policies of the international intervention to the responses and initiatives of Bosnians. Particular attention is paid to the hitherto undervalued inputs of Bosnians at the lowest level of the state, the municipality. To do so a typology of municipalities according to pre-war ethnic composition and entity location was established, and six research sites were selected: Bosanski Petrovac, Pale, Prijedor; Tesan], Travnik and Visegrad. A structured and focused comparative study of the four principle areas of statebuilding, namely security, elections, municipal politics and refugee return, was then conducted. This drew on international, national and municipal archives and a comprehensive interview program. On this basis it is argued that the Dayton Peace Agreement's inherent flaws were not the sole variable in statebuilding, and that the agreement ceded international and Bosnian actors substantial agency to shape the post-war state. The dynamics of their interaction centred on a powerful yet strategically uncertain international administration meeting systematic covert resistance from nationalist politicians at all levels. Consequently police reform was halting and incomplete, elections favoured nationalists over moderates, and international aims were thwarted by lacunae in their cognitive capacity, particularly in complex local political ecologies. The thesis revises official estimates of refugee return to demonstrate the intensity of the resulting ethnic territorialisation. The deep heterogeneity of pre-war Bosnia was not restored; instead, persistent ethnic territorialisation made the post-war state unviable and cemented its dependence on a continued international presence.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available