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Crisis Governance in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia

The Study of Floods in 2014


Edited By Vedran Džihić and Magdalena Solska

This comparative study at hand has been the result of a two-year research project on floods in 2014 in the Western Balkans engaging eight research teams from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Croatia. Representing quite different disciplines, the authors of this volume have analysed diverse aspects of the crisis governance and its ramifications. This publication’s goals are twofold. Firstly, it pins down the characteristics of the crisis responses during the floods of 2014 in three affected countries, preconditioned by the existing institutions, crisis leadership, the role of media and the social capital as well as the foreign financial aid. On the other hand, through the lenses of the crisis governance we conclude on the state capacities and the nature of political regime of the cases under study. The flood megacrisis did not constitute a "window of opportunity" for individual or institutional learning. On the contrary, it did unveil some authoritarian tendencies in Serbia and Bosnia, and thus stalled the hitherto ongoing democratization process.

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Appendix 1: Mapping an Unfolding Crisis: Key Developments during the Floods in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia (Damir Kapidžić / Dušan Pavlović / Gordan Bosanac)


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Appendix 1: Mapping an Unfolding Crisis: Key Developments during the Floods in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia

In 2014, April and the beginning of May were extremely rainy in the Balkans. Rainfall analysis for April 2014, compared to a multiyear average, showed, for example, that in the area of Slavonski Brod, a town in Croatia, there was 200% more rain than usual. The torrential rain of 3 May led to an increase in the water level in canals, streams and rivers, which resulted in partial flooding of several counties in Croatia. In Serbia, on 9 May the National Hydrometerological Service had already issued a red alert, emphasizing that a critical amount of rain could be expected on 14–16 May. The flood crisis unfolded very quickly in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), Croatia and Serbia in May 2014. The key events presented below were selected through media analysis and analysis of official documents related to the national and local government and specialized institutions involved in flood protection.

12 May 2014

In Serbia, the National Hydrometerological Service warned that the Ljig and Tamnava rivers flowed into the Kolubara river and exceeded the critical water level. It forecast 40–60 l/m2 of rain per 24 hours on 14–16 May. The Direction for Waters (for more information on responsible institutions see Appendix 2 in this volume) gave orders to Srbijavode and...

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