Cover image for The war in Bosnia-Herzegovina : ethnic conflict and international intervention
The war in Bosnia-Herzegovina : ethnic conflict and international intervention
Burg, Steven L., 1950-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Armonk, N.Y. : M.E. Sharpe, [1999]

Physical Description:
xviii, 499 pages : maps ; 24 cm
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Format :


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DR1313.7.P43 B87 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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This book examines the historical, cultural and political dimensions of the crisis in Bosnia and the international efforts to resolve it. It provides a detailed analysis of international proposals to end the fighting, from the Vance-Owen plan to the Dayton Accord, with special attention to the national and international politics that shaped them. It analyzes the motivations and actions of the warring parties, neighbouring states and international actors including the United States, the United Nations, the European powers, and others involved in the war and the diplomacy surrounding it. With guides to sources and documentation, abundant tabular data and over 30 maps, this should be a definitive volume on the most vexing conflict of the post-Soviet period.

Author Notes

Steven L. Burg is Professor of Politics and Director of the Center for German and European Studies at Brandeis University
Paul S. Shoup is Professor of Politics in the Department of Government and Foreign Affairs at the University of Virginia

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

The recent violence in the Serbian province of Kosovo may have pushed Bosnia off the front pages. Still, as the authors make clear, the current "peace" in Bosnia is hardly stable, and that piece of the chronically troubled Balkans remains a potential flashpoint. Both authors are academics with expertise in Eastern Europe, and they have provided a comprehensive examination of the Bosnian conflict. They begin with a cogent anlysis of the roots of ethnic hostility in Bosnia and conclude with an interesting probe of the Dayton agreement and its potential for "solving" the problem. This is not an easy read, particularly for novices in Balkan history. It is filled with details, and the narrative is necessarily slow moving. However, for those who wish to be superbly informed regarding what remains a dangerous, volatile region, this book should not be missed. --Jay Freeman

Choice Review

Burg (Brandeis Univ.) and Shoup (Univ. of Virginia) clearly describe the mutual incompatibility of the goals of the warring Bosnian Muslim, Croat, and Serb communities and their unwillingness to negotiate in good faith, as well as the reluctance of the international community to pay the cost of stopping the fighting or to enforce a negotiated settlement for an indefinite period. It took several years before the international community could agree on a coherent strategic plan capable of bringing the violence to an end. Only after the NATO countries decided on a combination of some political accommodation for the Bosnian actors, adequate military force, and a firm commitment to enforce the Dayton Agreement did the fighting stop. However, because the Bosnian communities continue to pursue incompatible goals by means short of open violence, combat among them could resume absent an international force on hand to prevent it. The volume concludes with an insightful chapter on the dilemmas of intervention. This is a scholarly, carefully balanced account and thoughtful analysis of a recent tragedy involving large-scale ethnic conflict. It contains many new maps and extensive notes and bibliography. Highly recommended for all library collections. J. M. Scolnick Jr. Clinch Valley College of the University of Virginia

Table of Contents

1 Introduction: Bosnia, Ethnic Conflict, and International Intervention
2 Conflict and Accommodation in Bosnian Political History
3 The Descent into War
4 The War on the Ground: 1992-1994
5 The International Community and the War: The Vance-Owen Plan
6 The International Community and the War: Negotiating Partition, 1993-1994
7 Imposing the Dayton Agreement
8 Dilemmas of Intervention