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Power-sharing and International Intervention: Overcoming the Post-conflict Legacy in Bosnia and Herzegovina

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Chapter Summary

Recent post-war peace agreements were faced with the challenge of creating a functioning polity that would satisfy the demands of all its constituent nations. In case of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the post-war arrangement encompasses three key components: (a) a long-term international military and civilian presence; (b) a power-sharing arrangement between the different groups; and (c) a high degree of decentralization towards ethnically homogeneous autonomies. This chapter seeks to assess the impact and success of power-sharing arrangement in Bosnia, while also incorporating the other two components of the peace-settlement into the evaluation. It examines the history of conflict and the background to the Dayton Peace Accords (DPA). It subsequently turns to the responses to the agreement and its record of implementation since 1996. While the self-determination dispute in Bosnia has been largely 'frozen' and the disintegration of the country no longer an immediate threat, the state remains weak and internally fragmented.

Keywords: Bosnia and Herzegovina; Dayton Peace Accords (DPA); international military presence; post-war peace agreement; power-sharing arrangement; self-determination dispute



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