A Critical Analysis of the Neoliberal State-Building in Bosnia and Herzegovina: The Gap Between Aims and Achievements

Melek Aylin Özoflu, Bora Besgul


Despite the long years of political, economic, and military presence of the international community with its remarkable amount of aid, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) still suffers from political instabilities, lack of economic growth, and high rates of unemployment. The Dayton Peace Accords (DPA), which were signed in 1995 to end the violent war turning out ethnic cleansing and caused unforgettable humanitarian and economic loss, built a highly decentralized state with a divided society. Its vision was based on the neoliberal agenda that puts a strong emphasis on the belief that ethnic harmony and sustainable peace would be achieved only through a reconstruction program of neoliberal policies. Against the backdrop of this vision, the absence of intergroup cohesion among distinct ethnic collective identities remains still as a puzzle of the neoliberal state-building agenda of the international community. By highlighting the limitation of state-building in its implementation in BiH, this research aims to give a plausible answer to the puzzle regarding the root causes of why state-building initiatives remain ill-equipped in achieving the formation of the upper level of shared collective identity in BiH. To this end, it will critically discuss the effectiveness –or ineffectiveness– of the Dayton recipe for BiH to build a functional and sovereign state along with an upper level of shared collective identity.


Bosnia and Herzegovina, collective identity, Dayton Peace Accords, neoliberal restructuring, state-building

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.14267/CJSSP.2023.1.6


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ISSN: 2062-087X

DOI: 10.14267/issn.2062-087X