Dilemmas of Nation-building and Citizenship in Dayton Bosnia

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The Dayton Peace Accord signed in Paris on 14 December 1995 aimed to forge a unified state of Bosnia and Herzegovina and a common identity based on liberal democratic values. However, ethnic fragmentation and cantonisation, resort to administrative fiat and constitutional ambiguities in the definition of citizenship have prevented the establishment of an authentic democratic and multi-ethnic state. Some progress has been made in opening state institutions to non-members of the major national groups and in countering ethnic biases in educational curricula, but a culture of political dependency on the international community has emerged. The flow of potential returnees has now almost ended, and some returnees have sold their homes and moved to areas in which they are part of the majority group. The international community's efforts to emphasise integrative citizenship have thus far failed to stop national homogenisation in the country.

Keywords: Bosnia and Herzegovina; Citizenship; Nation-building; Nationalism; State-building

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14608940701406195

Publication date: September 1, 2007

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