Florian Bieber pointed out that power-sharing and ethnic federalism are the core elements of the post-Dayton political system in Bosnia and Herzegovina.1 Indeed, to understand the workings of the Bosnian federation, it is important to analyse these two factors. Therefore, the discussion of power-sharing mechanisms at central, entity, cantonal and local levels, will be at the focus of the first part of this chapter. In terms of federal language, we can argue that this part will discuss the elements of “shared-rule” in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The second part will examine “selfrule” by discussing the powers of the different levels of the Bosnian federation. As will be shown, Bosnia is a highly decentralised state that continues to suffer from a weak central level. However, there have been many improvements in the Bosnian federation, mainly in the form of centralisation policies and a reduction of strict power-sharing mechanisms. However, power-sharing was enforced by a decision of the Constitutional Court in 2000, after which the entity constitutions changed and introduced ethnic power-sharing mechanisms. Therefore, processes of centralisation and a reduction of power-sharing at the central level, can be observed until 2006, whilst, at the same time, power-sharing was strengthened at entity, cantonal and local levels after the decision of the Constitutional Court. Finally, the third part will discuss the developments of the party system in post-Dayton Bosnia which, according to William Riker, is a key indicator for the development of a federal state.2 Our main focus in this chapter will be the nature of the Bosnian state. There is a tendency in the literature to argue that Dayton introduced an ethnic federal system.3 However, we will see that a careful constitutional analysis of the Bosnian constitution will show that this is not the full story. Instead, the Bosnian constitution focuses on ethnic4 and territorial power-

sharing, with a stronger focus on territorial elements. Therefore, Bosnia cannot be considered as an ethnic federation from a constitutional point of view. However, as will be argued in part three and in the following chapter on “Federalism in postDayton Bosnia,” in reality, Bosnia works as an ethnic federation. This, however, is not due to constitutional prerogatives, but because of the continued dominance of nationally exclusive parties which interpret politics in Bosnia as a zero-sum game between its different peoples.5