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The scale of international investment in peace-building in Bosnia has been unprecedented. Despite the massive international commitment in time, resources and effort, Bosnia's peace is at best paralyzed. This text argues that the failure of peace-building is the failure of the 'liberal peace model'.
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Christopher Bennett reported from Yugoslavia before and during its breakup. He later became Balkans Director for the International Crisis Group in Sarajevo. From 2006-2014 he worked for the Office of the High Representative in Bosnia as, among other things, Communications Director and Deputy High Representative. He has taught Yugoslav history at the University of London, and is currently Director of the Foundation for the Preservation of Historical Heritage in Sarajevo and honorary professor at De Montfort University in Leicester. He is the author of Yugoslavia's Bloody Collapse (Hurst, 1995).Review:
There is a real need for a balanced, well founded, deeply researched and comprehensive book which documents why Bosnia and Herzegovina's ascent towards a sustainable peace in the first ten years after Dayton, turned into a descent back into fracture, division and dysfunctionality in the second post-Dayton decade. This book fulfils that need, admirably and should be required reading for all those who know and love Bosnia - and necessary reading for all those interested in the process of building peace after conflict. It is not necessary to agree with every judgement or to support every analysis to recognise that this is an important, weighty and admirable work on the tragedy for Europe and the Balkans, that Bosnia is now, in 2016, not prospering in a sustainable peace, but mired in a paralysed one. * Paddy Ashdown, former High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina * A desolate story of squandered peace-building opportunity, lucidly and meticulously told. Christopher Bennett makes a compelling case that renewed genocidal violence between Bosniaks, Serbs and Croats is a real risk, and that the only hope for Bosnia is for international pressure to force changes to its political system that would reward cross-group support and cooperation rather than zero sum intransigence. His argument cries out to be heard. * Gareth Evans, President Emeritus of the International Crisis Group and former Foreign Minister of Australia; author of The Responsibility to Protect: Ending Mass Atrocity Crimes Once and for All * There have been surprisingly few accounts of the international community's engagement in Bosnia following the signing of the Dayton Agreement in 1995 written by individuals closely involved in that process. Christopher Bennett's book is a welcome, thoughtful, and trenchant contribution to our knowledge and understanding of the complex history of 'Dayton Bosnia' from a well-placed insider. * Bruce Hitchner, Director of the Peace & Justice Studies Program, Tufts University, and Chairman of the Dayton Peace Accords Project *
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