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  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: It is time to close international supervision of Bosnia's Brčko District. Once seen as a model of post-war reconciliation and good government, it is drowning in corruption and mismanagement that flourished despite its supervisors' best efforts. The territory is vital to Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH)'s stability: it links the two halves of both Republika Srpska (RS) and the BiH Federation (FBiH), and belongs technically to both entities but is independently governed and multi-ethnic. Many of its former leaders are under suspicion in a corruption probe that may have only scratched the surface; several high profile development projects are collapsing in bankruptcy and litigation. RS has a strong influence on the district but is not threatening to undermine its status. Nevertheless, the international community should ensure that Serb leaders of that entity are left in no doubt that any move to take Brčko over would meet a strong reaction. Stability is now dependent on whether local politicians, law enforcement and the judiciary can take responsibility. International supervision is no longer helping, and a new strategy is needed.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Herzegovina, Balkans
  • Author: European Affairs
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Affairs
  • Institution: The European Institute
  • Abstract: Bosnia, which held elections late last year, is a piece of unfinished business for the international community in the Balkans. Four experts assess the situation and offer contrasting roadmaps for going forward. Read their views in the four articles below.
  • Topic: NATO, Corruption, Politics
  • Political Geography: Bosnia
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH), the larger of Bosnia and Herzegovina's two entities, is in crisis. Disputes among and between Bosniak and Croat leaders and a dysfunctional administrative system have paralysed decision-making, put the entity on the verge of bankruptcy and triggered social unrest. Much focus has been on the conflict that pits the Serb-dominated Republika Srpska (RS) against the Federation, but the parallel crisis within the Federation also deserves attention. The need for overhaul of the FBiH has been ignored because of belief that state-wide constitutional reform would solve most of its problems, but any state-level reform seems far off. Bosnia's challenges all have echoes at Federation level, though in simpler form. Reform in the Federation, starting with establishment of a parliamentary commission, is achievable and could give impetus to state-level reform, while improving the livelihoods of the people in Bosnia's larger entity. If it does not happen, Bosnia, which was wracked by three and a half years of war in the 1990s, may well slide toward new political and economic ungovernability.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Economics, Politics, War
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Balkans
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The administration of Mostar is collapsing, a warning sign for Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). There has been no mayor, budget or functioning city council since an October 2008 election; tension threatens to poison relations between the leading Bosniak and Croat parties, which are coalition partners throughout BiH. The crisis is rooted in ethnic demographics, recent conflict history and a city statute that replicates many of the power-sharing rules that govern the state. Mostar's Croat majority, much like the state's Bosniak majority, chafes against these rules, considering them illegitimate and foreign-imposed, and seeks to force the Office of the High Representative (OHR – the international community's peace implementation body) to impose a solution on its behalf. Yet, a fair solution is within the council's competence and, like the city's chronic grievances, can best be handled without the High Representative using his extraordinary (Bonn) powers. The international community should deliver the message that fourteen years after the end of their war, it is time for the Bosnians to take responsibility for their own futures.
  • Topic: Politics, Governance
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Herzegovina, Balkans
  • Author: Mastora Stanikzai, Zikria Barakzai, Mohammad Hashim
  • Publication Date: 12-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Academy of Political Science
  • Abstract: After IEC establishment in 2005 the main objectives have been the capacity building of IEC staff. IEC is actively taking major steps toward this objective with cooperation of different international organizations (UNDP, IFES, TAF).
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Democratization, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Herzegovina, Balkans
  • Author: Henry L. Clarke
  • Publication Date: 02-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Wilson Center
  • Abstract: The constitutional structure of Bosnia and Herzegovina is complex, emerging as it did from a peacemaking process between Serb forces of Republika Srpska and a coalition of Bosniak (or Muslim) and Croat forces under the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Most of the fundamental obligations of the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina and its two subordinate Entities, Republika Srpska (RS) and the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH), arise from the General Framework Agreement for Peace (GFAP) in Bosnia and Herzegovina and its Annexes, often called the Dayton Accords, signed in Paris on December 14, 1995. The Constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina is Annex 4 of the General Framework Agreement.
  • Topic: Democratization, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Bosnia, Herzegovina
  • Author: Jason Crosby, Don Hays
  • Publication Date: 10-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: The citizens of Bosnia are united in wanting EU accession and its benefits. However, the constitution as it stands will greatly inhibit Bosnia's ability to move toward accession. Under the current constitution, ethnically based political parties still can thwart the state and prevent Bosnia from entering the EU. The constitution vests power in two entities, the Federation and the Republika Srpska, granting most governmental functions to them and only the most limited powers to the central government. Despite numerous state-building reforms, it is questionable whether the state can implement the broad range of measures the EU requires for accession. With the high representative's departure scheduled for June 2007, the state's capacity to implement the accession requirements becomes critical. A recent report by the Venice Commission outlines the reforms necessary to prepare the state for the accession process. Only Bosnia's politicians can undertake the fundamental changes required for accession. In response to this challenge the leaders of the major political parties undertook a consensus-driven process facilitated by representatives of the Institute, the Public International Law and Policy Group, and the Dayton Project. The goal was to produce a package of constitutional amendments by October 2005 to strengthen the state. Over twelve months, representatives developed amendments clarifying group rights, individual and minority rights, and mechanisms for protecting the “vital national interests” of Bosnia's constituent peoples. They also included reforms to strengthen the government and the powers of the prime minister, reduce the president's duties, and streamline parliamentary procedures. The parties presented their agreement to parliament, and on April 26, 2006, the package failed by two votes to achieve the necessary two-thirds majority. To answer the question of where Bosnia-Herzogovina (BiH) goes from here, the parties decided to wait until after elections in October 2006 to resubmit the package to parliament, in hopes that its political alignment will change enough to ensure passage.
  • Topic: Development, Politics
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Eastern Europe
  • Author: Dominique Wisler
  • Publication Date: 02-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (DCAF)
  • Abstract: While there is a wide consensus today on the basic principles of democratic policing there is no blueprint of international standards of policing or internationally accepted organisational scheme to which a police in transition looking for guidance could simply seek to conform. Beyond many differences originating from history and political regimes, what exists instead - and can serve as guidance - are best policing practices as well as trends in organising a police service. In fact, as I would like to argue, Western police are experiencing dramatic changes since two decades, changes that affect the organization and the practices profoundly. Police services are indeed reorganized using the conceptual framework of “processes and services” rather than the traditional silos of exclusive competencies between various police branches. Starting from services such as local security, rapid intervention, crowd control and the fight against serious, complex and organized criminality, the architecture of police forces is being remodelled by reformers. Judiciary competencies have ceased to be the basis of a rigid division between the judiciary police and the uniformed police, but, as we will see below, the uniformed police are tasked today with new competencies as a result of a process-oriented reorganisation. This led to a 180 degree shift in the policing architecture: once conceived vertically in hermetic silos of competencies, services are conceptualized more horizontally, process-oriented, cross-cutting competencies.
  • Topic: Security, Development, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Bosnia, Herzegovina
  • Publication Date: 01-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: This briefing compares the mandate of the Independent Monitoring Commission for Northern Ireland (IMC) with those of two recent European examples of the monitoring and enforcement of compliance with peace agreements: the unsuccessful Kosovo Verification Mission (KVM) of 1998-1999, and the much more fruitful mission of the Office of the High Representative (OHR) in Bosnia and Herzegovina since 1995. It attempts to identify lessons from those earlier experiences that may help the IMC carry out its mission in the context of carrying forward the Good Friday peace process.
  • Topic: Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Kosovo, North Ireland
  • Author: Henry L. Clarke
  • Publication Date: 01-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Wilson Center
  • Abstract: The Brcko District of Bosnia and Herzegovina is small, with less than 100,000 people. In 2001, about 30 public companies were selected for privatization. At the outset, there were good reasons to ask whether the District would have any success in privatizing them. Many of the public companies had been shut down for up to ten years, while the rest were operating at a small fraction of their pre-1991 output. There was not a single company that was profitable enough to be sold successfully on the basis of its performance, none had adequate working capital or marketing arrangements, many were deeply in debt, some had too many nonworking “employees” and the equipment of most companies that was not damaged during the war was worn out or obsolete.
  • Topic: Debt, Government, Politics, Privatization
  • Political Geography: Europe, Bosnia, Herzegovina