Merdzanovic, Adis

Democracy by Decree

Prospects and Limits of Imposed Consociational Democracy in Bosnia and Herzegovina

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The introduction of consociational power sharing as a post-war political system has become one of the international community's preferred post-conflict devices. In situations where warring polities are internally divided by ethnic, religious, linguistic, or national identity, consociationalism guarantees the inclusion of all groups in the political process and prevents a 'tyranny of the majority over one or more minorities. However, if international actors keep intervening in the political process, the advantages of consociationalism are turned upside down.
In this exceptional book, Adis Merdzanovic develops a theoretical and empirical approach to understanding consociational democracies that include external intervention. Using the case of Bosnia and Herzegovina, where the consociational Dayton Peace Agreement ended the three-year war between Serbs, Croats, and Bosniaks twenty years ago, it elaborates on the different approaches used in the past and gives practical recommendations for future state-building exercises by the international community.

436 Seiten, Hardcover. 2015
ISBN 978-3-8382-0812-1

Auch als Paperback erhältlich

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"Merdzanovic's study presents a most welcome new assessment: He is the first scholar to scrutinize how the system of imposed consociationalism worked, or rather, didn't work, in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is a must-read for anybody interested in the history of the Balkans in general and current Bosnian politics in particular."
Josette Baer, University of Zurich, Switzerland

"Overall it is a successful attempt to throw new light on consociational theory. The case study is researched and presented in a competent and clear way. The reader gets a good picture of how the three groups of Bosnjaks, Croats, and Serbs historically developed an how deeply divided they are today. It is also well described how the Dayton Accord led to the four key consociational institutions of grand coalition, proportional representation, veto powers, and group autonomy."
Jürg Steiner, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and University of Bern, Swiss Political Science Review (2016) 

"[...] this book provides insight into a case that is central to understanding the possible limits of democracy in divided societies."
P. J. Howe, Adrian College, CHOICE 5/2016


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