chapter
5 Pages

INTRODUCTION: Security in between

At no time since the end of the 1991-1995 Balkan conflicts has the conundrum of Bosnian security been more in need of close examination. On the one hand, governance issues have preoccupied scholarship, policy, and practice, as international efforts to build a viable state have faced off against domestic elites – and, increasingly, their constituencies – intent on rebuffing difficult or unwanted reforms. On the other hand, some of those same preoccupations appear almost parochial, even irrelevant, in the face of such transnational threats to collective security as international terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Existential challenges are nothing new to Bosnia-Herzegovina (referred to interchangeably and without contention throughout this volume as Bosnia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and in its abbreviated form, BiH). But its post-war transition, its survival as a state, and its own role in international security were no better defined in 2005 than they were following the signing of its peace settlement a decade earlier. Since then, the evolution of Bosnia-Herzegovina’s own wartime legacies and the emergence of new threats elsewhere in the world have conspired against static interpretations of Bosnian security.