Multinational Federalism in Bosnia and Herzegovina
In 1995 none of the political parties representing the peoples of Bosnia preferred a federal option. Yet, Bosnia became a federal state, highly decentralised and with a complex institutional architecture. This solution was imposed on them by international actors as a result of peace negotiations following the Yugoslav wars. Political parties in post-war Bosnia were not willing to identify with or accept the federation. The international community intervened taking over key decisions and so Bosnia and Herzegovina became the first state to experience a new model of federalism, namely ’imposed federalism’ and a new model of a federal state, that of the ’internationally administered federation’. By combining comparative politics, conflict analysis and international relations theory Soeren Keil offers a unique analysis of federalism in post-Dayton Bosnia and Herzegovina. By exploring this model of ’imposed federalism’ not only does this study greatly contribute to the literature on developments in Bosnia and Herzegovina it also re-evaluates comparative federalism in theory and practice. This study also offers important conclusions for similar cases, both in the Western Balkans region and the wider world, where international involvement and federalism as a method of conflict resolution in diverse societies becomes ever more prevalent and important.
’Soeren Keil offers a theoretically well-grounded and empirically detailed analysis of the mal/functioning of the political process in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Required reading for anyone interested in understanding that country and the political challenges of diversity in divided societies more generally.’ Stefan Wolff, University of Birmingham, UK ’In countries without consensus on the state, the international community has incubated forms of federalism for immediate conflict management needs that have serious sustainability questions. Soeren Keil offers a penetrating analysis of this practice in Bosnia-Herzegovina and an argument that "imposed federalism" is a new institutional form of our time. Those interested not only in Bosnia but in Iraq and Afghanistan should read this book.’ Gerard Toal, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, USA '... it is quite a challenge to write an innovative study on Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). And yet, with Multinational Federalism in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Soeren Keil manages to bring new insights and to fill an important gap in the literature on post-war BiH ... This volume brings a very welcome contribution to the academic debate on the political system of BiH by analyzing it from a new perspective. ... Overall, this volume is definitely an excellent read, both for those who have already extensive knowledge on BiH as well as for scholars and students interested in federalism, in particular in post-conflict and deeply divided societies. The first will have the opportunity to analyse BiH from a perspective they will find innovative and the latter will certainly find some food for thought on whether imposing federalism on post-conflict societies should be an option at all.' Swiss Political Science Review 'The author offers a very convincing analysis on how federalism was imposed by international actors on the case of Bosnia and Herzegovina ...' Publius: The Journal of Federalism 'With its profound analysi