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Backtracking to Reformulate: Establishing the Bosnian Federation

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image of International Negotiation

Upon the failure of the Vance-Owen and Owen-Stoltenberg efforts to devise a formula to deal with the Bosnian problem, the US took over the mediator's role. Instead of coming up with a new formula, it backtracked to parts of earlier proposals and led the parties to a solution based on an exchange of a Croat-Muslim federation in Bosnia for a confederation between that federation and Croatia. This was possible because the moment had become ripe through the development of a perception that continued war was a self-inflicted pain for no chance of unilateral gain, and through the application of side payments of aid and recognition that the mediator could deploy.

Affiliations: 1: The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, The Johns Hopkins University, 1740 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington DC 20036, USA


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