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Unpublished Paper
Assuming Bosnia: Taking the Polity Seriously in Ethnically Divided Societies
  • Timothy W Waters, Indiana University - Bloomington
This essay is a reflection on democracy, justice and intervention. It focuses on the Bosnian experience, where since the Dayton Accords the indispensable context for reform has been the international protectorate. This essay examines the assumptions used by the international community to govern Bosnia, which suggest a policy premised upon resistance to the fragmentation of the state under any circumstances, and a belief that the international intervention is simultaneously morally justified and a purely technical process for increasing efficiency. How necessary – indeed, how related at all – are those commitments to the dictates of justice? What is their relationship to commitments to democracy? The essay assesses the problematic tension between its concept of justice and democratic autonomy. It discusses Bosnia, but has implications for re-conceptualizing claims about the democratic nature of states – and when it is right to intervene in them – much farther afield.
  • democracy,
  • democratization,
  • ethnic cleansing,
  • Bosnia,
  • intervention
Publication Date
Citation Information
Timothy W Waters. "Assuming Bosnia: Taking the Polity Seriously in Ethnically Divided Societies" (2008)
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