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The Disintegration of Bosnia and Herzegovina

From Ethnic Cleansing to Ethnified Governance


Alim Baluch

This book argues that the «international community» created and managed the dysfunctional state of Bosnia and Herzegovina by effectively rewarding ethnic cleansing, drawing up a transitional constitution which, in turn, generated a complex ethnifying polity incapable of independent reform. This constitution, which was only added as an annex to the Dayton Peace Agreement, has continued to encourage ethnification, understood in this book as the reproduction of imagined communities of descent.

While accepting that foreign interference was necessary to end the war in the late 1990s, the book offers a critical review of the actions of the Office of the High Representative of the International Community (OHR) and other foreign actors since that period. It includes meticulous examination of hundreds of OHR decisions, as well as secret diplomatic cables published by Wikileaks revealing how the US embassy intervened in the country's trade and foreign policy.

Drawing on a process-sociological perspective, the book interrogates the notion of ethnicity and offers a radical new perspective on post-war state-building in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

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Chapter 4: Polities and Politics of Post-war Bosnia and Herzegovina


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Polities and Politics of Post-war Bosnia and Herzegovina

The war in BiH was not only but above all an irredentist war for territory. After it was made clear that the United States and its allies insisted on refusing the irredentist annexation of parts of the country by Serbia and/or Croatia, the most controversial task of the Dayton Peace Talks was to reconcile the so-far mutually contradicting territorial claims of the three warring parties. At the same time, the US administration put pressure on the instable Croat/ Bosniak alliance to establish a more sustainable partnership with the aim of preserving the territorial integrity of BiH. With the General Framework Agreement of the DPA from December 1995, BiH, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the Republic of Croatia agreed to “refrain from any action, by threat or use of force or otherwise, against the territorial integrity or political independence of Bosnia and Herzegovina or any other State.”1 All other aspects that have been codified in the DPA, including the constitution of BiH are Annexes to the General Framework Agreement.

This chapter consists of three parts:

1. It discusses the political and historical context which led to the DPA.

2. it provides a concise introduction into the most relevant aspects of the Annexes of the DPA devoting considerable attention to Annex IV (i.e. the constitution of BiH). The examination of the annexes is a necessary precondition to...

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