chapter  6
34 Pages

Bosnia: redesigning a flawed peace process

The 1995 Dayton Peace Agreement (DPA) brought to an end a conflict mainly directed against civilians in which 200,000 people were killed and over 2 million were forced to flee their homes. It was a hastily arrived settlement meant to preserve a US-enforced armistice. Even before the ink was dry it was clear that its architects had given little serious thought about how Bosnia could be turned into a viable state. An international administration was to govern in partnership with local political forces. This hastily conceived experiment in political engineering was based on the assumption that the more complicated and multilayered the elected institutions were, the likelier it was that previously implacable rivals would discover the need to cooperate with one another.