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Panel Proposal, Bosnia 20 years after independence, ASN, Columbia University, New York, 19-21 April 2012‏

Panel Proposal for the Annual Conference of the Association for the Study of Nationalities

Date: 19-21 April 2012

Place: Harriman Institute, Columbia University, New York

Title of Panel: Bosnia and Herzegovina twenty years after the Declaration of Independence

Panel Chairs: Dr. Soeren Keil, Canterbury Christ Church University, United Kingdom
Dr. Valery Perry, Public International Law & Policy Group, Sarajevo, BiH

In April 2012 it will be twenty years ago since the parliament of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) declared the country’s independence from Yugoslavia, following the examples set by Slovenia and Croatia the year before. This date also marks the beginning of the violent conflict in Bosnia, which formally ended with the Dayton Peace Agreement in December 1995. Bosnia’s current political organization – including its Constitution - is structured by Annex 4 of this peace agreement.
In the last twenty years the country has gone through a considerable transformation. Physical reconstruction has been considerable, some state institutions have been established and/or strengthened, the economy has partially recovered and Bosnia has signed a Stabilization and Association Agreement with the European Union (EU).
However, much remains to be done. The country is still characterized by the stalemate between Bosniaks, Serbs and Croats, and the constitutional structure leaves little room for the country’s “others”, including national minorities, persons of a mixed background or persons who wish to not declare themselves as anyone “kind” of citizens. Important reforms, including a revised or new constitution have remained out of reach, though there is broad agreement that such reforms are of key importance for Bosnia’s future development. The state remains contested from numerous sides. Furthermore, the international community, in particular the EU, continues to remain active in Bosnia, While the country remains mired in a frozen conflict, international engagement aims to both consolidate a stable democracy in the country, as well as prevent the political conflict from further deteriorating. While relations with Croatia have seen massive improvements since 2000, Serbia remains heavily (and many would say negatively) involved in the internal affairs of the country. The developments in Kosovo have further heightened the tensions in Bosnia, and the Eurozone crisis and conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq have shifted international attention away from Bosnia.
The panel offers the opportunity to assess the developments in Bosnia over the last twenty years and to point out and discuss some of the major challenges that remain.
Papers could (but are not limited to) address some of the following topics:

Bosnia’s constitutional development since 1992/1995The economic development of Bosnia since 1995 and the key challenges remainingThe role of international actors and the international state-building projectKey problems in human rights, civil society and transitional justice in BosniaThe role of the neighbouring countries in Bosnia’s development over the last 20 yearsThe influence of Europeanization on Bosnia’s multiple transformationsBosnia’s development in comparative perspective
We welcome proposals for papers that address one or multiple of the above areas. We are particularly interested in comparative perspectives for example comparisons between Bosnia and other successor states of the former Yugoslavia, as well as papers grounded in practical regional experience.

Interested contributors should send a 500 word abstract to:[] no later than the 30th of October 2011. Please include a very short biography to the abstract.
Selected papers will be contacted shortly thereafter.

It is planned that the contributions will be published at a later stage in an edited volume with a major academic publisher.

We are unable to provide any bursaries or financial assistance for the participation in the ASN conference