By Matthew Parish

ISBN-10: 1845112768

ISBN-13: 9781845112769

Following the brutal wars which raged within the former Yugoslavia within the early Nineties, Bosnia and Herzegovina was once awkwardly partitioned into governing entities: the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Republika Srpska. yet there has been one a part of the rustic that can no longer be outfitted into both type: the Breko District, a strategically severe land-bridge among the 2 elements of the Bosnian Serb territory. This sector was once the topic of a hugely strange test: positioned less than a regime of across the world supervised executive, Breko turned a ""free city,"" evoking the reminiscence of Trieste or Danzig within the nineteenth century. What has this test in state-building printed in regards to the heritage of this nook of the Balkans - and its destiny? What classes should be utilized to clash solution in different components of the realm? And used to be the test profitable or have the electorate of Breko suffered additional by the hands of the overseas neighborhood? A loose urban within the Balkans investigates the increase and fall of Breko and post-war Bosnia and investigates what classes might be discovered for overseas peacekeeping missions elsewhere.

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Once elections were held, they would fit neatly within the institutions created, and there could be reasonable continuity between the internationally appointed officials and the District’s first elected officials. The question of timing of elections was left open; a judgment call would later be made about when the new District institutions were sufficiently mature to withstand the liberalising effect of elections. In the end, elections were not held until four and a half years after the establishment of the new institutions, and the newly democratic institutions remained under close international scrutiny for two years after that.

The partition theorist ought not be characterised as immoral or racist. Rather his is a position of profound pessimism about human nature and incentives. Viewing intractable ethnic conflicts through the lens of history, (s)he simply does not believe there is anything that can be done to resolve them short of the most radical medicine of physical separation of violent people. It is all too easy for a natural sense of collective identity to spiral down into animus for others. There is something almost primordial in ethnic identity that mankind is unable to overcome: a preference to associate with others like oneself and to shun difference.

The RSK was never internationally recognised and suffered total economic collapse, surviving only until a surprise Croatian offensive, ‘Operation Storm’, to expel Serb forces from the Krajina region in August 1995. Of all the six Yugoslav republics, Bosnia and Herzegovina was the most ethnically diverse.

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A Free City in the Balkans: Reconstructing a Divided Society in Bosnia (International Library of War Studies) by Matthew Parish


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