Democracy and International Intervention in Bosnia and Herzegovina Cover Image

Democracy and International Intervention in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Democracy and International Intervention in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Author(s): Gergana Cisarova-Dimitrova
Subject(s): Politics / Political Sciences
Published by: Mezinárodní politologický ústav Masarykovy univerzity v Brně
Keywords: Bosnia and Herzegovina; international intervention; Office of the High Representative; OHR; political situation; democratization; legitimacy of international intervention; post-conflict management

Summary/Abstract: The article analyzes international intervention in Bosnia and Herzegovina and assesses the effects it has had on political developments and democratization in the country. The paper is especially focused on mapping the ongoing debate among policy analysts over the benefits of direct and proactive international intervention and the dangers inherent in the prolonged denial of self-government to the Bosnian people. It argues that while international intervention has often been visibly successful in pushing through major reforms and political changes, the undemocratic character in which it has been carried out is far from unproblematic. The international community in Bosnia is not accountable to Bosnian citizens, its extensive governance powers have been largely exempt from democratic checks and balances, and international action has tended to sidestep and marginalize local institutions and the local political process, thus undermining the sustainability of the achieved improvements. On the whole, the effective, if not official, protectorate has been an unsuitable way of ‘teaching’ Bosnians what democracy is. Finally, the article uses the case of Bosnia to draw some general lessons for international intervention in post-conflict areas

  • Issue Year: VII/2005
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 45-71
  • Page Count: 28
  • Language: English