Peacebuilding in Practice
Local Experience in Two Bosnian Towns
Publication Year: 2013
In November 2007 Adam Moore was conducting fieldwork in Mostar when the southern Bosnian city was rocked by two days of violent clashes between Croat and Bosniak youth. It was not the city’s only experience of ethnic conflict in recent years. Indeed, Mostar’s problems are often cited as emblematic of the failure of international efforts to overcome deep divisions that continue to stymie the postwar peace process in Bosnia. Yet not all of Bosnia has been plagued by such troubles. Mostar remains mired in distrust and division, but the Brcko District in the northeast corner of the country has become a model of what Bosnia could be. Its multiethnic institutions operate well compared to other municipalities, and are broadly supported by those who live there; it also boasts the only fully integrated school system in the country. What accounts for the striking divergence in postwar peacebuilding in these two towns?
Moore argues that a conjunction of four factors explains the contrast in outcomes in Mostar and Brcko: The design of political institutions, the sequencing of political and economic reforms, local and regional legacies from the war, and the practice and organization of international peacebuilding efforts in the two towns. Differences in the latter, in particular, have profoundly shaped relations between local political elites and international officials. Through a grounded analysis of localized peacebuilding dynamics in these two cities Moore generates a powerful argument concerning the need to rethink how peacebuilding is done—that is, a shift in the habitus or culture that governs international peacebuilding activities and priorities today.
Published by: Cornell University Press
Peacebuilding in Practice
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One accumulates many debts over nearly a decade of research. I am particularly grateful for the generous support of people I met during fi eldwork in Bosnia. Asim Mujkic´ at the University of Sarajevo has been a great mentor and friend throughout the project. This book would not have been possible without the invaluable assistance over the years of Djanan ...
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My fi rst visit to Brcˇko came as a shock. The southern parts of the town made it look as if the world had come to an end. Snow covered the ruins, which stretched as far as the eye could see. But what made the greatest impression was not what could be seen, but what the ear could not hear. There was absolute silence. Life always involves sounds—a dog, a child, traffi c on a ...
1. The Study of Peacebuilding
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Over the past twenty years the study of peacebuilding has exploded, fueled in part by a surge in multilateral peacebuilding missions around peacebuilding processes there is “still no reliable formula for trans-forming a fragile ceasefi re into a stable and lasting peace.” 1 If anything, in fact, there is a greater appreciation for just how little we still know ...
2. The Collapse of Yugoslavia and the Balkan Wars
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Spring 2012 marked the twentieth anniversary of the beginning of the war in Bosnia, which was the longest and bloodiest confl ict in Europe since World War II. In total nearly 100,000 people were killed during the confl ict, almost half of them civilians, and more than 2 million were driven from their homes. 1 The war also introduced to the world the phrase “ethnic ...
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As noted in the previous chapter, Bosnia’s ethno-territorial consocia-tional compact is the product of contentious negotiations between the three warring parties that culminated in the DPA in 1995. Mostar is the embodi-ment of this model, as there alone has it been comprehensively extended down to the level of a single city, the scale at which everyday interaction ...
4. Wartime Legacies
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As William Faulkner once observed, “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” This is an especially appropriate aphorism for Bosnia as past events continue to profoundly shape political and social relations in the postwar period. In chapter 1 I noted that one of the most important, yet least understood, aspects of peacebuilding is the infl uence of wartime ...
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As the reader may have noticed, there is a signifi cant difference in the timeline of international intervention in Mostar and Brcˇko. As part of the terms of the Washington Agreement it was decided that Mostar would be temporarily administered by the EUAM, which formally commenced op-erations in the city in July 1994—even as fi ghting continued elsewhere in ...
6. Peacebuilding Practices and Institutions
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At this point the fi nding that rapid economic and political liberaliza-tion had negative effects in Mostar is not terribly surprising. There are many examples of similarly detrimental outcomes to such policies in the peacebuilding literature. Perhaps a more interesting and important question concerning sequencing is why the lengthy and intensive institution-building ...
7. Patron-Clientelism in the Brčko District
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In the previous chapter I highlighted the embeddedness of international offi cials and participation in peacebuilding reforms by local offi cials as two factors that are crucial for understanding peacebuilding progress that has been achieved in Brcˇko to date. To a certain degree, though, this explana-tion begs the question of just how embeddedness and productive local-...
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Rather than rehearsing the reasons for the divergence in peacebuilding processes in Brcˇko and Mostar since the end of the war, I want to use the conclusion to address two broader issues raised by this research. The fi rst concerns the promises and limitations of subnational, or local, peacebuild-ing projects. I anticipate that the reader may wonder just how signifi cant ...
Page Count: 240
Publication Year: 2013