After Dayton

Lessons of the Bosnian Peace Process

December 14, 1999

Report

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Bosnia and Herzegovina

Peacekeeping

Overview

This report provides the record of a detailed assessment of the Bosnian peace process conducted by the Council on Foreign Relations and Yale University. It is a snapshot from Bosnia, which is still an ongoing effort, taken approximately one year into the process. The coincidence of timing gives a useful analogy to Kosovo, where the same splintering of communities has taken place. The bombing campaign by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization against the Slobodan Milosevic regime succeeded and the ethnic Albanian community of Kosovo has begun the process of return. But military victory has been followed by a difficult peace that presents a crisis of nation-building.

The international organizations assigned to help in the task face great difficulties--how to jump-start economic projects, quell continuing ethnic skirmishes on the ground, democratize a repressive communist society, and deal with a muddle of sovereignty and autonomy issues. Kosovo is to have effective autonomy yet remain part of the Belgrade regime; its problems are of intense international interest, yet it lacks any separate international voice. Many of these problems were worked on in Bosnia as well, and applying the lessons learned there may help those who have to confront the challenges of Kosovo.

More on:

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Peacekeeping

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