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Bosnia after Dayton: nationalist partition and international intervention

Sumantra Bose|
Hurst and Co, London (June 2002); Oxford University Press, New York (August 2002)

Since 1996, Bosnia & Herzegovina has been the site of a remarkable project of political engineering. A complex consortium of international agencies backed by Western governments have been transforming a devastated, ethnically partitioned, post-war territory into a multiethnic, democratic and economically viable state. Despite an enormous investment of personnel and resources, its post-Yugoslav future remains tenuous more than six years later. Has the engineering project worked?

Bosnia after Dayton is a fascinating study in the dilemmas of the post-Cold War international order. How effective are international 'peace-building' interventions in fractured states? Is the preservation of a multinational state desirable - or even possible - where the majority of citizens only reluctantly acknowledge its legitimacy?

This book looks at the issues that Bosnia continues to face. Juxtaposing big-picture analysis with an intimate knowledge of the region, Bose situates the international community's extensive program of state-building and democratisation in Bosnia and Herzegovina since the Dayton Peace Agreement in the context of Bosnia's - and the former Yugoslavia's - complex historical legacy of coexistence and conflict. He tells the story of the divided city of Mostar, analyses the complex institutional structure and process of Dayton Bosnia, and dissects the making of the Dayton accords through American-led coercive diplomacy, developing a constructive critique of international peace-building.

A fascinating study of democratisation in a divided society, this book promises to be a landmark in the literatures on former Yugoslavia, and international intervention.

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For more information, see www.hurstpub.co.uk/| 

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