Interest groups in BiH

My article “A mirror of the ethnic divide: Interest group pillarization and elite dominance in Bosnia and Herzegovina” has been published in the Journal of Public Affairs in early view. The print verions will come out in a few months (as v19.n2). It is part of a special issue on public affairs and interest groups in the contemporary Balkans, put together by Danica Fink-Hafner and Clive S. Thomas.

Here is the abstract:

To date, there is no comprehensive treatment of interests and interest groups in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). This article seeks to fill that gap. It does so by explaining that interest groups reflect the country’s complex political system with multiple levels of power sharing along societal cleavages. Political parties are the major power centers, and the link between ethnicity and party allegiance is most significant in defining the role of interest groups. The result is a pillarized (separate, intragroup) and bifurcated group system with 3 separate interest group subsystems with little interchange between them. This fragmentation has been challenged by international institutional organizations promoting multiethnic interests. Nevertheless, with the persistence of many informal interests, the group system is stymied in moving toward an integrated system, a development that is key to strengthening BiH’s consociational democracy.

Download the article here.

For a free online version click here.