The Effectiveness of the EU as a Peace Actor in Post-conflict Bosnia Herzegovina: An Evaluative Study




Eralp, Ulas Doga

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The dissertation evaluates the effectiveness of the European Union as an actor of peace in post-conflict Bosnia Herzegovina. While doing that it discusses the use of democratization as a form of peacebuilding in a post-conflict society. The EU membership perspective that has been a tool of EU’s soft power that transforms aspirant countries into working liberal democracies surprisingly underlines the divisions of the Bosnian society. Reforms necessary for the EU integration fail over disagreements between the constituent nations of Croats, Serbs and Bosniaks on the notions of the state and its functions as well as the character of the society that it is supposed to serve. Dissertation argues that without the advent of the political subject by itself it is not possible to talk about civic politics. Manufacturing the political will for conflict transformation and democratic transition would just postpone the imminent political catastrophe in Bosnia Herzegovina. Instead the European Union should assume the role of a moderator and be honest about the EU membership prospect of the Western Balkan countries. When a post-conflict society like that of Bosnia Herzegovina is locked in a constant paradox between the dream of EU membership and the reality of ethnic fragmentation, efforts for peacebuilding and democratization requires honesty.



European Union, Bosnia Herzegovina, Western Balkans, Democratization, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Peace Building