Lessons from Bosnia and Herzegovinia: The Limits of Electoral Engineering

Issue Date July 2003
Volume 14
Issue 3
Page Numbers 45-59
file Print
arrow-down-thin Download from Project MUSE
external View Citation

In the six years since the first post-war elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the country has developed a technically impressive democratic system, with the help of a large corps of international experts supported by considerable administrative authority. Yet advanced democratic procedures have continued to generate outcomes that international authorities believe to be inimical to the creation of a durable, integrated, and fully democratic state in Bosnia. Specifically, the wartime nationalist parties continue to dominate in free and fair electoral contests. Elections are part of a larger strategy framed by the Dayton peace accord to rebuild Bosnia as a multiethnic state, a strategy which relies in part on the reconfiguring of underlying political cleavages and a transformation in the way interests are both articulated and aggregated by political parties. This article examines the part elections have played in this state-building strategy and highlights the limitations of that strategy.

About the Authors

Carrie Manning

Carrie Manning is professor of political science at Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia. She is the author of The Making of Democrats: Elections and Party Development in Postwar Bosnia, El Salvador and Mozambique (2008) and The Politics of Peace in Mozambique: Post-Conflict Democratization, 1992–2000 (2002).

View all work by Carrie Manning

Miljenko Antic

Miljenko Antic is a doctoral candidate in political science at Georgia State.

View all work by Miljenko Antic