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Original scientific paper

NATO Integration of Bosnia and Herzegovina: The pursuit of local ownership in externally-led state building

Sead Turčalo orcid id ; Faculty of Political Science, University of Sarajevo
Damir Kapidžić orcid id ; Faculty of Political Science, University of Sarajevo

Full text: english pdf 370 Kb

page 72-91

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The NATO integration of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) is closely tied to a strong surge in externally led state building following the conflict of the 1990s. Informed by the ideals of liberal peace, one of the key components of state building was security sector reform and a restructuring of the armed forces. A shifting approach by the international community, varying between imposing decisions and insisting on local ownership, managed to establish the joint BiH Armed Forces, but allowed for the appropriation of the NATO integration process by local ethnic party elites. As a result, NATO integration in BiH regressed into an exercise in institutional reform, pursued in disarray and primarily addressing technical issues. Even if successfully brought to fruition, NATO integration will have failed to achieve the objectives of fostering substantive peace in BiH.


NATO integration, Bosnia and Herzegovina, state building, international community, liberal peace

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