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Local Institutional Engineering: A Tale of Two Cities, Mostar and Br?ko

Bieber, Florian (2005) Local Institutional Engineering: A Tale of Two Cities, Mostar and Br?ko. International Peacekeeping, 12 (3). pp. 420-433. ISSN 1353-3312. (doi:10.1080/13533310500074531) (KAR id:783)


The essay examines different international approaches to ‘reuniting’ ethnically-divided cities in post-war Bosnia (BiH), based on the examples of Brcko and Mostar. While Mostar was governed by a high degree of formal power-sharing and the separate administration of ethnically homogenous municipalities, until the imposed unification in early 2004, Brcko was created as a united discrete district which has been administered by a low degree of formal power-sharing. Through case studies of these two cities, mechanisms of multiethnic governance at the local level will be examined and related to the larger system of consociationalism and international governance in BiH. From this experience, it is suggested here that that less formal systems of power-sharing, as instituted in Brcko, has been more successful than the complex consociationalism and territorial fragmentation of post-war Mostar. It is also argued that institution-building prior to elections, as has been the case in Brcko, has resulted in greater stability and more integration than in Mostar where the reverse sequence was followed. The findings here further suggest that institutional design at the local level can have a significant impact on inter-ethnic relations in deeply divided societies, such as BiH.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1080/13533310500074531
Subjects: J Political Science > JS Local government. Municipal government
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Politics and International Relations
Depositing User: Alison Webster
Date Deposited: 19 Dec 2007 18:29 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2021 09:39 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Bieber, Florian.

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