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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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7. International Financial Aid in the Postcrisis Phase in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia (Iva Kornfein Groš)


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7.  International Financial Aid in the Postcrisis Phase in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia

This chapter aims to explore the role of international financial aid in the aftermath of the floods in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia that occurred in the spring of 2014. This small-n comparative analysis explores whether the national institutions were able to improve their institutional crisis management capacities through international financial aid. The chapter elucidates the role of financial aid in funding reconstruction and recovery and possibly supporting capacity building of related crisis-management institutions. In addition, it examines the development of aid dependency and whether local actors perceive international financial aid only as a source of “free” funds alleviating the consequences of the crisis instead of dealing with the “root of the problem”, i.e. weak institutions of crisis management.

Keywords: crisis management, institutional capacity building, international financial aid, natural disasters, policy change


Due to extensive, prolonged precipitation and a low-pressure cyclone (Tamara) in the spring of 2014, three Southeast European countries (Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia) faced a crisis in the form of massive floods. The floods triggered an official proclamation of a state of natural disaster and involved the institutions of crisis management in each country.1 The flood affected large border areas in the Sava-Danube watershed, creating a cross-border challenge for crisis-management systems and for cooperation between the three countries. In the aftermath of...

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