From Dayton to Brussels via Tuzla: post-2014 economic restructuring as europeanization discourse/practice in Bosnia and HerzegovinaThe political and economic transformations of peacebuilding and state-building efforts in post-Dayton Bosnia–Herzegovina (Bi

Danijela Majstorovic
  majstorovic.danijela@gmail.com
  
Zoran Vuckovac
  vuckovac@live.com
  University of Alberta
Andjela Pepic
  andjela.lalovic@gmail.com
  University of Banja Luka

Abstract

The political and economic transformations of peacebuilding and state-building efforts in post-Dayton Bosnia–Herzegovina (BiH) have resulted in a dysfunc- tional, divided and impoverished country in social crisis. Both international and local political elites have tried to manage the crisis, the former through financial aid in combination with externally imposed measures and the latter through institutionalized ethnic nationalism and clientelism; both approaches were made possible by the Dayton Peace Accords. Articulating a demand for greater social justice, the 2014 protests and plenums rejected both ethnic division and the cor- ruption of post-Dayton political economy. This was rightfully seen as a threat by most Bosnian politicians, and appeared to represent an opening for a new reform agenda by the EU. This was most visible in its ‘Compact for Growth and Jobs’, which aimed to revitalize BiH’s path to European integration. We argue that the Compact and the responses to it offer a useful diagnostic to gauge how the post-Dayton political field has shifted since the events of 2014. In this article, we analyse the Compact and its critics, point out their blind spots and discuss what this reveals about the possibility for wider social change in the wake of the 2014 protests and plenums – in other words, thinking Bosnia’s future beyond Dayton and Brussels, via Tuzla.

Bosnia–Herzegovina - discourse analysis - citizenship - neoliberalism