Elections and Ethnic Problems in Bosnia-Herzegovina after the Dayton Agreement

  • KUBO Keiichi
    The School of Political Science and Economics, Waseda University

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  • デイトン合意後のボスニアにおける選挙と民族問題
  • デイトン ゴウイ ゴ ノ ボスニア ニ オケル センキョ ト ミンゾク モンダイ

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Abstract

In the Dayton Agreement, the engagement of the international community in Bosnia was originally supposed to last only for a year and to come to a close after the elections in 1996, turning over the responsibilities to the new governments. In reality, however, the international community has been continuing, or even intensifying its engagement after the general elections. Why has the international community continued its engagement? As an answer to this question, the present article points out that the elections and the establishment of new governments have not resulted in the autonomous political stability in Bosnia, but actually lead to the political instability. The present paper attempts to demonstrate it by examining the Bosnian case from two viewpoints: (1) stateness problem, and (2) problems with the institutionalization of ethnic power-sharing.<BR>The stateness problem occurs when “there are profound differences about the territorial boundaries of the political community's state and profound differences as to who has the right of citizenship in that state.” As Linz and Stepan pointed out, democracy is impossible until the stateness problem is resolved. In Bosnian case, the stateness problem occurred in 1991-1992 when Muslims and Croats wanted the independence of Bosnia, while Serbs opposed it and attempted to secede from Bosnia in order to join the Third Yugoslavia. Even though the Dayton Agreement achieved a compromise, it was far from the resolution of the stateness problem. The differences of the conceptions of the state persisted even after the Dayton Agreement, especially between Bosniaks and Serbs. This is one reason why the elections have not lead to the political stability in Bosnia, since the ethnic parties continued to be elected to the public offices, and they kept putting the stateness problem on the political agenda.<BR>Another reason why the elections have not lead to the political stability is related to the institutionalization of the ethnic power-sharing in Bosnia. In Bosnia, the political system based on the consociational model was introduced by the Dayton Agreement, acknowledging the three ethnic groups as “constituent nations” and introducing equal representation and mutual veto system of these nations. However, the introduction of a consociational type of ethnic power-sharing has not lead to the political stability in Bosnia, firstly because it has led to the ineffectiveness of the political system, and secondly because it has given centrifugal incentives to the politicians, inducing them to act as a representative of their respective ethnic group and to take a tough stance against representatives of other ethnic groups.<BR>These are two reasons why the elections have not lead to the autonomous political stability in Bosnia. This is why the international community has been continuing its engagement: it has been necessary to secure a minimum stability for Bosnia. In order for Bosnia to achieve the autonomous political stability, the two problems pointed out in the present article must be resolved. It remains to be seen whether - and how -the resolution of these two problems would be possible.

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