Consociational Settlements and Reconstruction
Bosnia in Comparative Perspective (1995–Present)
Both Bosnia in 1995 and Northern Ireland in 1998 were extremely fragile in the immediate aftermath of brokered peace negotiations. Each instituted a form of consociationalism—a government that institutionalizes a voice for each ethnic group—as an element of brokered peace. In this article, I examine Bosnian postwar governance with comparative insights from Northern Ireland. Bosnia was the recipient of a large amount of international aid. While this aid was crucial to the initial state-building effort, the problems Bosnia now faces are due to its consociational governance structure. Some of the group-based aspects of consociationalism are in tension with individual rights, a problem that cannot be addressed by aid alone.