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The Improvised State. Sovereignty, Performance and Agency in Dayton Bosnia. RGS-IBG Book Series

  • ID: 2249121
  • Book
  • 220 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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Over the past 15 years, Bosnia and Herzegovina has served as a laboratory of techniques to re–establish state sovereignty and promote democracy. The post–conflict intervention in Bosnia has justifiably received great interest from political theorists and scholars of international relations who have explored the limitations of the institutions and policies of international intervention. This book begins from an alternative premise: rather than examining institutions or charting limitations, Jeffrey argues for a focus on the performance of state sovereignty in Bosnia as it has been practiced by a range of actors both within and beyond the Bosnian state. In focusing on the state as a process, he argues that Bosnian sovereignty is best understood as a series of improvisations that have attempted to produce and reproduce a stable and unified state. Based on four periods of residential fieldwork in Bosnia, The Improvised State advances state theory through an illumination of the fragile and contingent nature of sovereignty in contemporary Bosnia and its grounding in the everyday lives of the Bosnian citizen.

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List of Figures ix

Series Editors Preface x

Acknowledgements xi

Abbreviations xiii

1 Introduction 1

1.1 States, Performance and Improvisation 4

1.2 Towards a Political Anthropology of the Bosnian State 7

1.3 Critical Geopolitics and Qualitative Research Strategy 13

1.4 Structure of the Book 16

2 The Improvised State 20

2.1 The State Idea 22

2.2 Performance and Performativity 26

2.3 Improvisation: Performed Resourcefulness 32

2.4 Improvising the State 38

3 Producing Bosnia and Herzegovina 41

3.1 Fault Line 44

3.2 Barrier 50

3.3 The Balkan Vortex 62

3.4 The General Framework Agreement for Peace 67

3.5 Conclusion 70

4 Performing Brèko District 72

4.1 Brèko District and Arbitration 75

4.2 Stability: Getting the Job Done 85

4.3 Security: Constructing Legality 91

4.4 Neutralization: Making People Think 97

4.5 Conclusion 102

5 Gentrifying Civil Society 107

5.1 Building Civil Society 111

5.2 Social Capital: The Autonomy of Civil Society 115

5.3 Cultural Capital: Don t Just Ask for Another Copy Machine! 118

5.4 Beyond Gentrified Civil Society: Roma and Mjesne Zajednice 123

5.5 Conclusion 129

6 Enacting Justice 132

6.1 Spaces of Justice 134

6.2 Contesting the State 139

6.3 Enrolling Civil Society 145

6.4 Conclusion 153

7 Becoming European 156

7.1 Europeanization and the State 158

7.2 Nested Balkanism 162

7.3 Conclusion 166

8 Conclusion 169

References 179

Index 197

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Alex Jeffrey
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