European View, 7(1):15--22, June, 2008. Paper doi abstract bibtex
The transition to democracy in Bosnia and Herzegovina has proven extremely troublesome, as it overlapped with the complex post-conflict reconstruction process. Furthermore, the Dayton Peace Accords have provided Bosnia and Herzegovina with a rather incoherent institutional framework. In fact, the peace agreements created an asymmetrical confederation of highly autonomous, ethnically based entities coupled with weak central institutions. This situation has generated fragmentation and exclusion of minorities rather than reconciliation, triggering the worrying rise of a divisive national rhetoric. Consequently, reform attempts have been hampered by the defence of (perceived) national interests by different ethnic groups. Moreover, the international community has failed both in driving the reform process and in fostering talks to help local leaders achieve an agreement. In such a context, the much-needed constitutional reforms to establish a more efficient and cohesive governmental structure are still far from being achieved.