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Davidson College

Publication Date

Fall 2006

Program Name

The Balkans: Gender, Transformation, and Civil Society


The research beings with a discussion of the legal framework for defense reform in 2003 and in 2005 followed by an analysis of the role of the Parliamentary Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina in implementing the legislation for reform.

The analysis focuses on efforts to build the capacity of the Parliamentary Assembly and asks the question: have the efforts to build the capacity of parliamentary oversight of the defense reform implementation been successful in increasing democratic control of the Armed Forces of BiH?

I conclude that yes, the capacity-building efforts have been successful in increasing democratic control. However, the Parliamentary Assembly needs to take a more critical approach toward the Ministry of Defense and other actors in the politico-military scene and should use the political tools at its disposal: inquiries, hearings, withholding appointments, budget cuts, or legislative deals to ensure proper implementation of the defense reform. Only in this way will democratic control remain stable despite the gradual pullout of international forces such as the Office of the High Representative.


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