The Dynamics of Civil War Outcomes in Bosnia and the North Caucasus

A Project of the Human and Social Dynamics (HSD) Initiative of the National Science Foundation (NSF)

    Grant number 0433927

Manuscripts 2011


The Localized Geographies of Violence in the North Caucasus of Russia, 1999-2007

John O'Loughlin and Frank Witmer
Annals of the Association of American Geographers, Vol 101, No. 1 (2011)

Abstract: The second Chechen war, starting in the North Caucasus in August 1999, shows few signs of a ceasefire after eleven years, although the level of violence has declined from the peaks of the war’s first two years. Initially framed by both sides as a war of separatists versus the federal center, the situation is now complicated by the installation of a Moscow ally into power in Chechnya and by the splintering of the opposition into groups with diverse aims and theaters of operation. The main rebel movement has declared the establishment of an Islamic caliphate in all the Muslim republics of the North Caucasus as its ultimate goal. Fears of regional destabilization of the entire North Caucasus of Russia are propelled by reports of increased militant activism in republics adjoining Chechnya due to possible contagion effects of violence in these poor areas. Temporal and spatial descriptive statistics of a large database of 14,177 violent events, geocoded by precise location, from August 1999 to August 2007, provide evidence of the conflict’s diffusion into the republics bordering Chechnya. “Hot spots” of violence are identified using Kulldorff’s SaTScan statistics. A geographically weighted regression predictive model of violence indicates that locations in Chechnya and forested areas have more violence, whereas areas with high Russian populations and communities geographically removed from the main federal highway through the region see less violence.

Full pdf paper.



Manuscripts 2010


Ethnic Competition, Radical Islam, and Challenges to Stability in the Republic of Dagestan

Edward C. Holland and John O'Loughlin
Communist and Post-Communist Studies, Vol 43 No. 3 (2010)

Abstract: Previous academic work on stability in Dagestan has focused on two potential cleavages, the republic’s ethnic diversity and the challenge from radical Islamist groups. Using results from a December 2005 survey, and focusing on Dagestan’s six main ethnic groups, this paper investigates attitudes towards the dual topics of the politicization of ethnicity and the relationship between terrorism and Islamism. We find that Dagestanis maintain layered conceptions of identity, and do not attribute violence predominantly to radical Islam in the republic or the wider North Caucasus. Scholars should be aware of Rogers Brubaker’s concept of groupism in analyzing not just ethnic groups, but religious movements as well.

Full pdf paper.



Inter-ethnic friendships in postwar Bosnia-Herzegovina: Socio-demographic and place influences

John O'Loughlin
Ethnicities, Vol 10, No. 1 (2010)

Abstract: International concerns about the continued ethnicization of Bosnian social and political life are both validated and challenged by this December 2005 public opinion study. Ordinary Bosnians are willing to consider cross-ethnic friendships and cooperation. The gap between ethnic elites and entrepreneurs and their constituents is evident still in Bosnia- Herzegovina (BiH). The optimistic note of this study is sounded by the fact that half of respondents in BiH want more friends from different nationalities. The differences between the three ethnic groups are not dramatic. However, 41% of respondents stated that all or most of their friends were from their own nationality. Analysis of the responses by geographic location and by explanations related to modernization, ethnic competition and war experiences indicated that all proved useful in understanding the distributions. The geographic distributions indicated the primacy of the urban-rural factor for questions on current friendship networks and preferences for friends in other ethnic groups.

Full pdf paper.



Manuscripts 2009


Placing blame: Making sense of Beslan

Gearóid Ó Tuathail
Political Geography, Vol. 28 (2009)

Abstract: The aftermaths of terrorist spectacles are intensely consequential moments in the making of geopolitical meaning. This paper develops a critical geopolitical account of the ways in which key actors involved in the terrorist incident at School Number 1 in Beslan North Ossetia constructed its meaning and justified their actions. The event is examined from three perspectives: the terrorist’s Beslan, the Kremlin’s Beslan and the contested meaning of Beslan among Ossetians and others in the North Caucasus. Multiple sources are utilized in the construction of the account: an English language archive of Russian reporting on the event, accounts of the siege, statements by key protagonists, elite interviews in North Ossetia, and the results of a survey question in North Ossetia and the North Caucasus on Beslan. The paper examines the construction of blame by the various actors and relates it to indiscriminate geographies, sweeping acts of abstraction whose homogenizing effects make (counter)terrorist violence possible.

Full pdf paper.



Reconciliation in Conflict-Affected Societies: Multilevel Modeling of Individual and Contextual Factors in the North Caucasus of Russia

Kristin M. Bakke, John O'Loughlin, and Michael D. Ward
Annals of the Association of American Geographers, Vol. 99 No. 5 (2009)

Abstract: Over the past two decades, there has been a growing interest in reconciliation in societies emerging from conflict. The North Caucasus region of Russia has experienced multiple and diverse conflicts since the collapse of the Soviet Union, though violence is now at its lowest level over the past decade We examine willingness to forgive members of other ethnic groups for violence that they have perpetuated as an indicator of the potential for reconciliation in the region. Using the data from a large representative survey that we conducted in five ethnic republics in the North Caucasus in December 2005, we analyze responses to the forgiveness dependent variable in relation to social-psychological models of reconciliation and we add a key geographic measure, distance to violent events, to the usual theories. Using the survey data (n=2000) and aggregate data for the 82 sampling points, we use a multi-level modeling approach to separate out the effects of individual and contextual factors. We find little support for the Social Identity Theory expectations as ethnic hostility is not an important factor, except for the Ossetians, a mostly-Orthodox minority disproportionately affected by multiple conflicts and the Beslan school killings. Instead, personal experiences of violence and terrorism, the impacts of military actions against communities, differences in general trust of others, and the extent to which the respondent’s life has been changed by violence negatively influence the willingness to forgive. Conversely, respondents in ethnic Russian communities and those relatively close to violence are more willing to engage in postconflict reconciliation.

Full pdf paper.



After ethnic cleansing: Return outcomes in Bosnia-Herzegovina a decade beyond war

Gearóid Ó Tuathail and John O'Loughlin
Annals of the Association of American Geographers, Vol. 99 No. 5 (2009)

Abstract: Ethnic cleansing is a violent geopolitical practice designed to separate and segregate ethnic groups. This paper describes both the war aims which justified ethnic cleansing in Bosnia-Herzegovina and the effort by the international community to enable victims of ethnic cleansing to return to their homes. It considers the trends and geography of population returns ten years after the war before presenting original survey research results on displacement and return experiences. An overwhelming majority of Bosnians reclaimed their pre-war property and a majority of these actually returned to their homes. Those self-identifying as Bosnian Serbs were more likely to sell their pre-war homes than other ethnic groups; they also tend to be less interested in multiethnicity. The poor were more likely to reclaim and return to live in their house than richer groups. Those with strong attachment to their home villages were more likely to return. But despite more than a million returns, nearly half of whom are officially minority returns, Bosnia continues to grapple with the divisive legacy of ethnic cleansing.

Full pdf paper.



Satellite data methods and application in the evaluation of war outcomes: Abandoned agricultural land in Bosnia-Herzegovina after the 1992-1995 conflict.

Frank Witmer and John O'Loughlin
Annals of the Association of American Geographers, Vol. 99 No. 5 (2009)

Abstract: The devastation of wars is most often measured in terms of the number of dead and missing people, but other conflict effects are long-lasting and far-reaching. The 1992-1995 war in Bosnia- Herzegovina resulted in almost 100,000 killed and almost half of the population displaced. This paper analyzes the war’s effects by evaluating impacts on the post-war agriculture environment from which most Bosnians derive their livelihoods. The war’s impacts showed significant geographic variability with localities near the frontlines and in eastern Bosnia-Herzegovina particularly affected. Thirty meter Landsat imagery from before, during and after the war was used to identify abandoned agricultural land in two study areas (northeast and south) within Bosnia-Herzegovina, characterized by different climates, soil, and vegetation. In the image analysis methodology, multiple change detection techniques were tested, and ultimately a supervised classification was chosen. Ground reference data collected during the Springs of 2006 and 2007 show the remote sensing methodology is effective in identifying abandoned agricultural land for the northeast study region but not for the southern one. The differential success rates were due primarily to variations in climate and soil conditions between the two regions, but also point to contrasts due to the different nature of the war in the two study regions. The study has important implications for the use of remote sensing data in tracking the course of conflicts and evaluating their long-term impacts.

Full pdf paper.



Social Distance in Bosnia-Herzegovina and the North Caucasus Region of Russia: Inter and Intra-Ethnic Attitudes and Identities

Kristin Bakke, Xun Cao, John O’Loughlin, Michael D. Ward
Nations and Nationalism, Vol. 15 No. 2 (2009)

Abstract: In this paper, we examine ethnic divisions in conflict-affected and post-conflict societies. Conventional wisdom tells us that societies that have experienced violent struggles in which individuals of different ethnic groups have (been) mobilized against each other are likely to become ossified along ethnic lines. Indeed, both policy-makers and scholars often assume that such divisions are one of the main challenges that must be overcome to restore peace after war. We comparatively examine this conventional wisdom by mapping dimensions of social distance among 4,000 survey respondents in Bosnia and the North Caucasus region of Russia. The surveys were carried out in December 2005. Using multidimensional scaling, we do not find patterns of clear attitudinal cleavages among members of different ethnic groups in Bosnia. Nor do we find patterns of clear ethnic divisions in the North Caucasus, although our social distance matrices reveal a difference between Russians and ethnic minority groups.

Full pdf paper.



Manuscripts 2008


Russia’s Kosovo: A Critical Geopolitics of the August 2008 War over South Ossetia

Gearóid Ó Tuathail (Gerard Toal)
Eurasian Geography and Economics, Vol. 49 No. 6 (2008)

Abstract: A noted political geographer presents an analysis of the August 2008 South Ossetian war. He analyzes the conflict from a critical geopolitical perspective sensitive to the importance of localized context and agency in world affairs and to the limitations of statecentric logics in capturing the connectivities, flows, and attachments that transcend state borders and characterize specific locations. The paper traces the historical antecedents to the August 2008 conflict and identifies major factors that led to it, including legacies of past violence, the Georgian president’s aggressive style of leadership, and renewed Russian “great power” aspirations under Putin. The Kosovo case created normative precedents available for opportunistic localization. The author then focuses on the events of August 2008 and the competing storylines promoted by the Georgian and Russian governments

Full pdf paper.



Социально-территориальная динамика и этнические отношения на Северном Кавказе
Socio-Territorial Dynamics and Ethnic Relations in the Northern Caucasus

Vladimir Kolossov and John O’Loughlin
Political Studies, No. 4 (2008)

Изучено влияние меняющейся социально-экономической ситуации на межэтнические отношения на Северном Кавказе, в частности претензиями на национальную исключительность и этнически «чистую» территорию. Задачей работы было выяснить степень доверия в отношениях между этническими группами в зависимости от особенностей географического места. Исследование включало многомерную типологию городов и районов пяти регионов Северного Кавказа и проведенный на ее основе опрос 2000 тысяч респондентов. Сопоставлена статистическая и социологическая информация по характерным типам городских и сельских поселений.

Abstract:The subject of this article is the influence of the changing socio-economic situation on interethnic relations in the Northern Caucasus, in particular through claims of national exclusiveness and ethnically 'pure' territory. The aim of the study is to elaborate the extent of trust in the relations between ethnic groups, as influenced by contextual differences in the geographical locations of the samples. The research developed a multi-dimensional typology of cities (or towns) and districts of five regions (republics) of the Northern Caucasus of Russia and a poll of 2000 respondents, sampled on the basis of the typology of locales. Statistical and sociological information corresponding to characteristic types of urban and rural settlements is compared to the attitudes of the populations in these communities.

Full pdf paper (in Russian).




The Localized Geopolitics of Displacement and Return in Eastern Prigorodnyy Rayon, North Ossetia

John O’Loughlin, Gearóid Ó Tuathail (Gerard Toal), and Vladimir Kolossov
Eurasian Geography and Economics, Vol. 49 No. 6 (2008)

Abstract: Three noted political geographers examine the geopolitical entanglements of the republic of North Ossetia in Russia’s North Caucasus, where the country’s first violent post- Soviet conflict occurred. The dynamic history of administrative border changes in the region is reviewed against the backdrop of population movements (most dramatically Stalin’s 1944 deportation of the Ingush people) and shifting federal-local alliances. The primary focus is on the unresolved territorial dispute in Prigorodnyy Rayon, affected strongly by population displacement from Georgia in the early 1990s. After reviewing the causes of this dispute, which flared into open warfare in late October 1992, the paper examines two of its outcomes: the localized geopolitics of displacement and return on the ground in Prigorodnyy, and the impact of North Ossetia’s geopolitical entanglements in general on ethnic attitudes. Results of a public opinion survey (N = 2000) in the North Caucasus conducted by the authors revealed high levels of ethnic pride among Ossetians and a generally positive attitude toward relations with other nationalities. Duly noted is the August 2008 confrontation involving Russia and Georgia over neighboring South Ossetia, which generated a new flow of refugees.

Full pdf paper.



Detecting war-induced abandoned agricultural land in northeast Bosnia using multispectral, multitemporal Landsat TM imagery

Frank Witmer
International Journal of Remote Sensing, Vol. 29 No. 13 (2008)

Abstract:The use of satellite technology by military planners has a relatively long history as a tool of warfare, but little research has used satellite technology to study the effects of war. This research addresses this gap by applying satellite remote sensing imagery to study the effects of war on land-use/land-cover change in northeast Bosnia. Though the most severe war impacts are visible at local scales (e.g. destroyed buildings), this study focuses on impacts to agricultural land. Four change detection methods were evaluated for their effectiveness in detecting abandoned agricultural land using Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) data from before, during, and after the 1992-95 war. Ground reference data were collected in May of 2006 at survey sites selected using a stratified random sampling approach based on the derived map of abandoned agricultural land. Fine resolution Quickbird imagery was also used to verify the accuracy of the classification. Results from these analyses show that a supervised classification of the Landsat TM data identified abandoned agricultural land with an overall accuracy of 82.5%. The careful use of freely available Quickbird imagery, both as training data for the supervised classifier and as supplementary ground reference data, suggest these methods are applicable to other civil wars too dangerous for researchers’ field work.

The pdf pre-print version and publisher's final version are available.



Accounting for Separatist Sentiment in Bosnia-Herzegovina and the North Caucasus of Russia: A Comparative Analysis of Survey Responses

John O'Loughlin and Gearóid Ó Tuathail (Gerard Toal)
Ethnic and Racial Studies (2008)

Abstract: A tenet of modern studies of nationalism is that mobilized nations will want to live separately from members of other groups to achieve ethno-territorial goals. A comparison of attitudes to a question on preferences for ethnic separatism for two zones of conflict, Bosnia-Herzegovina and the North Caucasus of Russia reveals large differences both between and within the regions. For the 2000 respondents surveyed in each region in December 2005, more than half of those in Bosnia-Herzegovina believed that geographic separatism will improve the state of ethnic relations while the comparative figure for the North Caucasus was only 13 per cent. When examining sub-categories of the ethnic groups in each region, traditional social science factors, like religiosity, perceived income and levels of pride yielded significant differences but more so for Bosnia-Herzegovina than for the North Caucasus. Intuitive factors, such as experience with violence during the wars, were not consistently revealing and significant. The best explanations for separatist sentiment in both locations were geographical location (individual towns and counties) and respondents’ levels of general trust.

Full pdf paper.



Manuscripts 2007


Spatial analysis of civil war violence

John O'Loughlin and Clionadh Raleigh
In K. Cox, M. Low and J. Robinson (eds) A Handbook of Political Geography, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 2007 Chapter 30

Abstract:The focus of this chapter is to understand the distribution of these civil wars across the globe and to indicate some significant gaps in the research on the geography of violent domestic conflicts. We also identify what we see as promising avenues of research that link political geographic approaches to the much larger accumulation of research in political science and economics on the causes and frequency of civil wars.

Full pdf paper.



Preface to the Special Issue and Caucasus Map Supplement

John O'Loughlin, Frank Witmer, Thomas Dickinson, Nancy Thorwardson, and Edward Holland
Eurasian Geography and Economics, Vol.48 no.1 (2007)

Abstract:The papers in this special issue are designed to illustrate key aspects of the Caucasus region fifteen years after the end of the Soviet Union. For such a region that is so complex in both physiographic and human features, we had to be quite selective in our choice of subjects. As a result, we present an overview of the region as well as five specialized papers on aspects of the economic, political and population geography of the Caucasus. Originally, we intended to focus solely on the North Caucasus, the Russian part of the region, but because the links across the Caucasus are still intense in political and human terms, we decided to include one paper by Jean Radvanyi and Shakhmardan Muduev that considers the nature of these linkages from Transcaucasia (as the Russians call it) and the North Caucasus. Two papers offer more detail about the post-Soviet population developments in the two largest regions, Stavropol’ Kray and the Republic of Dagestan, a paper reflects on the impacts of the Chechen wars on the neighboring regions, and a fifth article contrasts the perspectives from the federal center, Moscow and those from the various stripes of political ideology in Russia with the opinions of the local populations about the causes of conflicts in the region.

Full pdf paper.



The Caucasus in a Time of Conflict, Demographic Transition, and Economic Change

John O'Loughlin, Vladimir Kolossov, Jean Radvanyi
Eurasian Geography and Economics, Vol.48 no.1 (2007)

Abstract: In an introductory paper to a special issue of Eurasian Geography and Economics, the authors examine contemporary economic, social, demographic, and political developments in the Caucasus in light of their historical contexts. They emphasize the need to look beyond simple ethnic categories to understand the nature of local tensions and also propose that the profound nature of the post-Soviet upheavals has uprooted long-standing practices. The paper covers physical diversity, historical and administrative geopolitics, Stalinist deportations in the 1940s, and post-Soviet demographic and economic developments. An introduction to each of the five papers comprising the special issue follows the regional overview.

Full pdf paper.


Challenges Facing the Mountain Peoples of the Caucasus

Jean Radvanyi, Shakhmardan S. Muduyev
Eurasian Geography and Economics, Vol.48 no.1 (2007)

Abstract: Two geographers report on the current challenges facing the inhabitants of the Caucasus mountains on the borders of Russia and its southern neighbors, Georgia and Azerbaijan. The authors discuss the impacts of new post-Soviet borders and controls as well as unresolved conflicts in Nagorno-Karabakh, Chechnya, South Ossetia, Abkhazia, and the Prigorodnyy district of North Ossetia, which have disrupted traditional ways of life and forced the peoples of the mountains to migrate or adjust their economic activities. Based on extensive field work in 2005-2006, and in the 1990s, they detect some signs of improvement in the new privatized environment after the difficult years of transition. However, the weak infrastructure of the region, combined with the high costs associated with development and modernization of peripheral locations, suggest that resettlement from the high mountains to the cities on the plains and piedmont is likely to continue.

Full pdf paper.



The Wars in Chechnya and Their Effects on Neighboring Regions

Olga I. Vendina, Vitaliy S. Belozerov, and Andrew Gustafson
Eurasian Geography and Economics, Vol.48 no.1 (2007)

Abstract: A team of Russia- and U.S.-based geographers presents and discusses the economic and demographic consequences of the conflicts in Chechnya on that republic, on the neighboring ethnic republics of the North Caucasus, as well as on the adjoining region of Stavropol' with a majority of Russian inhabitants. Formal economic indicators, which generally exhibit negative trends since 1991, are contrasted with the large, diverse shadow economy that tends to absorb federal development funding diverted from the formal sector to the benefit of local elites. The authors explore the extent to which economic activity once based in Chechnya is dispersed to contiguous regions, discuss changes in the ethnic composition of the republics ("de-Russification"), and consider whether Chechnya and the adjoining republics will ever regain the close economic, political, and social ties with Russia that prevailed during the Soviet period.

Full pdf paper.



An Empire's Fraying Edge? The North Caucasus Instability in Contemporary Russian Geopolitical Culture

Vladimir Kolossov and Gerard Toal
Eurasian Geography and Economics, Vol.48 no.1 (2007)

Abstract: A Russian and a U.S.-based political geographer explore how geopolitical cultures and traditions function in imagining and discursively framing events in specific regions within a particular state. More specifically, this paper undertakes a focused examination of competing elite storylines in Russian geopolitical culture about the North Caucasus during an eventful year (October 2005-September 2006) that encompassed the large-scale terrorist attack against the city of Nal'chik, the change of leadership in Dagestan, and the assassination of the prominent terrorist Shamil Basayev by federal forces. The paper first summarizes Kremlin, left/Communist, national-patriotic, and liberal "storylines" on the basis of a content analysis of major periodicals representing each of these viewpoints, followed by a survey of the opinions of ordinary citizens in the North Caucasus (n = 2,000) regarding the validity of these storylines.

Full pdf paper.



Resettlement and Migration in Post-Soviet Dagestan

Eldar M. Eldarov, Edward C. Holland, Sharafudin M. Aliyev, Zaid M. Abdulagatov, and Zagir V. Atayev
Eurasian Geography and Economics, Vol.48 no.1 (2007)

Abstract: This paper investigates migratory patterns in the North Caucasian republic of Dagestan. It relies on prior literature, both in Russian and English, to establish the basic form of migration in the republic and recent census data to describe these patterns. The authors then analyze responses from a December 2005 survey of Dagestani residents about their migration intentions to investigate the motivations underlying these patterns. The paper investigates the extent to which economic incentives vis-à-vis other traditional assumptions associated with migration theory maintain in the case of Dagestan, and explores the impact of migration on interethnic relations in the republic.

Full pdf paper.



Population Change and Migration in Stavropol' Kray: The Effects of Regional Conflicts and Economic Restructuring

John O’Loughlin, Alexander Panin, and Frank Witmer
Eurasian Geography and Economics, Vol.48 no.1 (2007)

Abstract: The paper, by a joint American-Russian team of researchers, examines major changes in population composition and migration structure in Stavropol' Kray since the collapse of the Soviet Union. In addition to documenting increased rural- to urban-migration, the authors explore impacts on the kray of nearby conflicts in ethnic republics of the North Caucasus and in Transcaucasia, particularly the shift in ethnic composition of rural rayons in eastern Stavropol' (from Russian to non-Russian populations) and migration of Armenians and Russians to cities in western Stavropol'. Responses to a December 2005 survey (conducted by the authors) on past and possible future moves are presented together with an assessment of factors underlying the decision to move (mostly economic), as mediated by age, economic status, and gender. Also included is a detailed account of shifts in a typical rayon (Krasnogvardeyskiy—the birthplace of Mikhail Gorbachev) revealing trends that bode ill for service provision and a turnaround in negative population trends.

Full pdf paper.



Manuscripts 2006


Cooperation without Trust in Conflict Ridden Societies: Survey Results from Bosnia and the North Caucasus.

Michael D. Ward, John V. O'Loughlin, Kristin M. Bakke & Xun Cao.
August 2006.

Abstract: Bosnia and the North Caucasus are ethnically diverse, post-communist societies, where the different ethnic groups at times have co-existed peacefully and at other times have found themselves at odds with one another or their governments. This study examines beliefs in the possibility of inter-ethnic cooperation in each society, based on survey instruments aimed at measuring attitudes and preferences towards the contemporary situation, socio-demographic characteristics, and the nature of cross-national relations in the light of experiences of conflict and continued unsettled political environment of the region. Our dependent variable, belief in the possibility of inter-ethnic cooperation, is a categorical variable based on responses the following survey stub: Among national groups, it is possible to create cooperation but never to fully trust. We measure and correct for survey response incomparability across BiH and the North Caucasus by using the anchoring vignette along with an estimation technique called chopit (short for compound hierarchical ordered probit), which allows us to incorporate anchoring vignettes.


We find that there is a substantial belief in the possibility of inter-ethnic cooperation both in BiH and the North Caucasus, in spite of substantial inter-ethnic violence in each location. Moreover, it appears that while the violent ethnic conflict in the recent history of BiH has created greater barriers to inter-ethnic cooperation, but the vast majority of Croats, Bosniacs, and Serbs, agree or strongly agree that cooperation is possible, even without the elusive inter-ethnic ``trust.'' The same is true in the North Caucasus region, although we have not been able to conduct surveys in Chechnya or Ingusetia. Beyond ascriptive and demographic characteristics, very few attitudinal variables seem to be important in determining this belief in the possibility of cooperation. However, ``pocketbook'' issues seem quite prominent as those in BiH and the North Caucasus who believe that things are getting better and who also have higher levels of material well being are more optimistic about cooperation. Those still struggling to survive, or who perceive their situation to continue to deteriorate are less optimistic about inter-ethnic cooperation.

2006 Draft



Bosnia-Herzegovina Ten Years after Dayton: Constitutional Change and Public Opinion

Gearóid Ó Tuathail (Gerard Toal), John O’Loughlin, and Dino Djipa
Eurasian Geography and Economics (2006)

Abstract: Two American-based political geographers and the head of a Bosnian public opinion research organization present and discuss the results of public opinion polls related to the tenth anniversary of the Dayton Peace Accords. The paper reviews talks between Bosnia- Herzegovina (BiH) and the European Union (EU) aimed at signing a Stabilization and Association Agreement that should pave the way for eventual membership of BiH in the EU, a process that would stimulate reform of BiH’s notoriously complex governance structure. The most recent constitutional change proposals are reviewed, and results of public opinion surveys (N = 614–2000 in late 2005) on constitutional change, reform of the governance structure of BiH state, and the Dayton Peace Accords after ten years are presented and discussed.

Full paper.