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CIAO DATE: 05/03

Good Fences Make Good Neighbours?: A Comparison of Consociational and Integrative Conflict Regulation Strategies in Post-Dayton Bosnia

Nina Fallentin Caspersen

Copenhagen Peace Research Institute
July 2002

Based on conflict regulation in post-Dayton Bosnia, it will in this paper be analysed whether an integrative or a consociational approach is more effective in fostering stability following an ethnic war. I will compare the effectiveness of the approaches in fostering stability in post-Dayton Bosnia, and from this analysis seek to identify the empirical conditions that affect the effectiveness of the approaches and hence the conditions under which they should be prescribed. Whereas the ethnic groups in Lijphart’s consociational approach constitute the basic units on which the political structure is built, Horowitz contends in his integrative approach that political structures must transcend the ethnic divisions, they must obliterate the divide. The Dayton Agreement that ended the war in Bosnia contains elements of both approaches and the balance between them has been changing in the course of its implementation. The case, therefore, constitutes a very suitable case for an empirical test. I will argue that due to the depth of divisions, the numerical balance between the groups, and the maximalist objectives of the parties, the consociational model has been more effective in fostering stability in Bosnia. Presently, a change to an integrative structure seems premature, but a mix of the approaches has been demonstrated to be able to foster moderation and the way forward could be a continued incremental change of the balance of this mix.