The Limits of the European Vision in Bosnia and Herzegovina An Analysis of the Police Reform Negotiations

Detta är en avhandling från Stockholm : Acta Universitatis Stockholmiensis

Sammanfattning: From the beginning of 2000 the European accession process was placed at the centre of peace-building in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The prospect of EU membership provided a common vision that could encourage different segments of society and the political elites to bridge ethnic divergences and engage in authentic post-war reconciliation. As a pre-accession criterion the European Union required Bosnia and Herzegovina to unify its fragmented policing system at the level of the state. However, this requirement proved to be a step too far, resulting in a protracted and ultimately unsuccessful process of political negotiations that lasted from 2004 to 2007.This thesis analyses the police reform negotiating process. In the aftermath of interethnic violence, ethnic communities tend to focus on protecting their self-continuity and, as a result, aspects of identity and security become closely linked. It was for this reason that the European Union’s insistence on placing law enforcement authority at the state level in Bosnia and Herzegovina came to be viewed as an identity threat, which subsequently affected interethnic group dynamics in a negative way. From this premise, the study goes on to assess the impact of the negotiating process on the political discourse in Bosnia and Herzegovina and on public notions of societal security. The study illustrates the background and rationale of the European Union’s strategy and analyses the dynamics between the international community and the domestic political elite. The conclusions of the thesis are drawn from interviews with the principal domestic politicians and the main international policymakers of the international community, and also from a broad range of opinion surveys as well as the original documentation of the negotiating process.

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