Crisis Response in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Croatia (2018)

Authors: Damir Kapidžić, Dušan Pavlović & Gordan Bosanac

Year: 2018

Chapter title: Crisis Response in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Croatia

Book title: Crisis Governance in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia. The Study of Floods in 2014

Editors: Vedran Džihić & Magdalena Solska

Publisher: Peter Lang

ISBN: 9783034327473

DOI: 10.3726/b13392

Pages: 27–57

Annexes: Appendix 1: Mapping an Unfolding Crisis: Key Developments during the Floods in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia (pp.189–198) & Appendix 2: Flood Protection Systems in the Precrisis Phase: The Cases of Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina (pp. 199–222)



The institutional design of crisis management in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, and Serbia determined their responses to the 2014 floods. In all three cases a weak institutional framework and deficient communication, coordination, and cooperation severely limited the efficiency of crisis response. Even though the floods affected the broader region, there was no coordinated response between the countries. This was aggravated by the scale of the floods, the rareness of such an eventbest described as a Black Swan, and the lack of adequate measures to prepare for such an occurrence.The resulting patchwork of institutional responses had their own deficiencies and faults. We identify three common issues: a prevalent lack of effective communication between response actors and institutions through formal channels, a lack of substantial investment in water management and civil protection systems, and the absence of responsibility after flooding. There were also differences between cases, especially regarding institutional learning and adaptation. Yet, the floods produced some insights at the strategic level of political officeholders, confirming the bad governance in Southeast Europe.