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Trinity University

Publication Date

Fall 2018

Program Name

Switzerland: International Studies and Multilateral Diplomacy


Bosnia-Herzegovina, a country recently torn apart by ethnic violence in the 1990s, remains standing yet has struggled for the past two decades to materialize dynamic reform from political corruption and has failed to progress to a more stabilized society. Matters of ethnic divisions, political corruption, and economic underdevelopment all contribute to a deadlocked society vulnerable to further destabilization. The Dayton Peace Agreement produced an environment fit to maintain political corruption with elite entrenchment and governmental deadlock that continues to freeze the county in 1995 and inhibits true ethnic reconciliation. Economic insecurity and high unemployment rates add to grievances in a highly polarized multi-ethnic-religious society. Nationalist rhetoric exacerbates tensions, and there is an overall lacking monitoring involvement from international actors. Lacking involvement from Western democratic influences of the European Union and United States is highly criticized and needed to actualize change in Bosnia. This research paper aims to analyze and answer the sources of stagnant corruption in Bosnia, with analysis of stabilization realities. First, looking to the historical roots of the demographics and grievances of the country from the Ottoman Empire, and most recently the Bosnian War in the 1990s. Then a discussion about the current factors that inhibit stabilization. Finally, to arrive at analysis surrounding European Union integration as well as the realities of the future. In the end, the unfortunate combination of corrupt leadership alongside ethnic divisions and economic underdevelopment in Bosnia synchronized with upheaval in European Union internal politics produces an environment immune to progression and change with little hope for dynamic evolution towards further stabilization in the near future. However, at the end of the day, this resilient country remains standing.


Eastern European Studies | Other Political Science | Peace and Conflict Studies | Policy History, Theory, and Methods | Political Science | Political Theory


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