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

Sead Turčalo 1  and Damir Kapidžić
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Abstract

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.

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