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The phenomenon of fragile states: Bosnia and Herzegovina

Journal: Historijski pogledi//Historical Views (Vol.IV, No. 6)

Publication Date:

Authors : ;

Page : 338-355

Keywords : Fragile State; Fragile State Index; Bosnia and Herzegovina; human rights.;

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The three key conditions for the existence of a state, according to the theory of state and law, are geographical territory, population and organized political power in that area. However, during the twentieth century in some African and Asian countries, due to various political, economic and other factors, problems began to appear in performance of their basic functions: ensuring public order and peace, providing health services, education. Modern science has introduced the term failed states to describe such countries. This scientific phenomenon has been the subject of numerous researches, and international organizations have been publishing annual indices of fragile, failed or unsuccessful world states for years. The first index of its kind was created in 2005 by the American non-profit organization The Fund for Peace in cooperation with the magazine Foreign Policy, which initially included 76 countries. The original term failed state was considered politically extremely incorrect, even when it referred to countries like South Sudan or Somalia, noting that such a term originated in the political terminology of developed countries by which all other countries at a lower level of development were considered to be failed ones. Therefore, in 2014, a new notion of a fragile state was created, and accordingly the existing index was renamed the Fragile State Index (FSI). This parameter determines the degree of fragility for each country on an annual basis, assessing four basic indicators: cohesion (functionality of the state apparatus), economic (overall economic situation), political (legitimacy of the state, availability of public services, respect for human rights and freedoms) and social (demographic structure of the community, number of displaced persons and refugees, external interventions). Based on the values of these indicators, countries are positioned in four groups: sustainable, stable, endangered and alarming. The paper also discusses Bosnia and Herzegovina as a potentially fragile state. Although it enjoys sovereignty and political independence, the 1995 Dayton Peace Agreement still provides for the strong participation of the international community in the performance of its basic state functions. Examples include the presence of international military and police forces from the early post-war years to the present (EUFOR), with a special emphasis on the position of High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina. The peace agreement gave him the status of his supreme interpreter, as well as the well-known Bonn powers that he used on several occasions to remove Bosnian political officials and the imposition of laws (Criminal Code of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Law on the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Law on the Prosecutor's Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina) due to the inability of domestic parliamentary bodies to pass them independently. In addition to the extremely complicated constitutional structure, the functioning of Bosnia and Herzegovina is hampered by the inability to reach an agreement between political representatives on key issues in the country. In the first place, these are much-needed changes to the constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina that would in the future allow members of minorities (Jews and Roma) to elect their own representatives in the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina. In this regard, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in 2009 in the case of Sejdić-Finci assessed that the impossibility of minority participation in political decision-making is a gross violation of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.

Last modified: 2022-12-27 21:38:47