By David Chandler
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Translated by means of Patrick L. Gallagher, Kent country University
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Extra resources for Bosnia: Faking Democracy After Dayton
Because the nationalist elites had exploited the cultural incapacities of the electorate, they were seen to be unrepresentative of the electorate’s real interests. Once convinced of the unrepresentative nature of the elected political leaders, the popular support they were able to wield during the protracted period of the dissolution of the Yugoslav state and the war and negotiations over Bosnia could only be put down to manipulation. For Woodward, fragmentation and war were essentially a continuation of electoral competition, as political leaders used their access to state resources to secure their hold on power and marginalise the opposition: DEMOCRATISATION 31 In Bosnia-Herzegovina … These leaders, to retain their position as representatives of their nation, not just in electoral terms but in terms of territorial rights to self-determination, had to go beyond holding a monopoly over an ethnic constituency within Bosnia-Herzegovina to destroying the constitutional alternative for an independent Bosnia – the idea of a civic state where ethnic difference was not politically defining and citizens were loyal to ethnic tolerance and multicultural civilisation.
Dayton The peace agreement signed at Dayton was unlike any other peace treaty of modern times, not merely because it was imposed by powers external to the conflict, but because of the far-reaching powers given to the international community which extended well beyond military matters to cover the most basic aspects of government and state. The majority of annexes to the Dayton Agreement, were not related to the ending of hostilities, traditionally the role of a peace agreement, but the political project of democratising Bosnia, of ‘reconstructing a society’ (Bildt, 1996a).
The 1990 elections took place as the Yugoslav state was fragmenting and the key political question was that of constitutional reform and a looser confederal arrangement. Without the security provided by the counterbalancing mechanisms of the federal state, questions of security became closely tied up with those of ethnic or nationalist orientation. In Bosnia, the reform of the constitutional framework put to question the guarantees of security and equal treatment for the three ethnic groups. Bosnian Croats were most in favour of a looser confederation: the smallest of the three ethnic groups, they felt their interests would be more secure through closer links with Croatia and Slovenia.
Bosnia: Faking Democracy After Dayton by David Chandler