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State building in deeply divided societies beyond Daytona in Bosnia.

Aparicio, Sofia Sebastian (2009) State building in deeply divided societies beyond Daytona in Bosnia. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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This dissertation focuses on post-conflict Bosnia, one of Europe's most divided post-conflict societies, and where the external leadership of the state building process has been pronounced. The specific goal is to delineate a framework of analysis that accounts for the elite dynamics involved in the state building process in Bosnia in the context of the EU accession process. The main research question is: how and under what circumstances can external actors shape domestic change in deeply divided societies. How may external actors affect the interests, goals, and strategies of domestic actors in post-conflict, divided societies. Can local actors resist external pressure. In order to explore these issues empirically, this dissertation examines the process of constitutional reform in Bosnia in 2005-2006, and draws from 80 personal interviews with the key players and other actors involved. The thesis brings a large body of evidence into a process that was, heretofore, largely unknown and shrouded in secrecy. The dissertation is framed within the paradigms of state building and international conditionality; which I argue do not adequately capture the nuances and complexities of post-conflict Bosnia. Drawing from the literature on conflict regulation and other plural society theories, I propose a unique three-tiered framework, and argue that this approach represents a more comprehensive construct for analyzing post-conflict Bosnia. More specifically, this approach dissects the process of constitutional reform from an inter-ethnic, intra-ethnic, and what I term 'supra-national' level (the latter referring to the interactions between domestic and external actors). The study of these interactions is likely to help us define better policies in post-conflict state building processes. I conclude that the international push in Bosnia, and the transformative power of the EU were blunted by an ethnic power game. While external actors did play a substantive role, the neglect of intra-ethnic dynamics rendered external actors' efforts at shaping the process of constitutional reform in Bosnia ineffective.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Political Science, General, Sociology, Social Structure and Development, East European Studies
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses
Departments > Government

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