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Introduction : Ethnocracy at the Heart of Europe


Stojanovic, Nenad; Hodzic, Edin (2015). Introduction : Ethnocracy at the Heart of Europe. Ethnopolitics, 14(4):382-389.

Abstract

The Roma and the Jews make up less than half a per cent of the population of Bosnia and Herzegovina. And yet their leaders could sue their country, successfully, at the European Court of Human Rights, by claiming that the system of reserved seats in the state Presidency and the second chamber of Parliament is monopolised by and for the three ‘constituent peoples’ (Bosniaks, Croats, and Serbs) and, thus, discriminatory towards minorities and other citizens. The 2009 ruling of the Court in Strasbourg (Sejdić and Finci v. Bosnia and Herzegovina) has shaken the very cornerstones of this unique European consociational ethnocracy and has obliged their leaders to undertake deep constitutional reforms. The three articles that compose this Special Section explore the role played by the ‘national minorities’ (such as Roma and Jews) in Bosnian politics, in particular in relation to the introduction and implementation of reserved seats for national minorities introduced in local assemblies for the 2008 municipal elections. The articles analyse the use of the system of reserved seats by national minorities, the reactions and the strategies of the ethnic parties representing the three constituent peoples and the patterns of descriptive versus substantive representation of minority interests. Addressing the questions of ‘what’, ‘why’ and ‘how’ of political representation of national minorities in a consociational context, the articles in this Special Section show that Bosnian tripartite ethnocracy hardly supports the intrusion of ‘non-constitutive’ elements in its framework and that national minorities still face significant obstacles when it comes to representation of their interests in a political system mainly concerned with the group rights of constituent peoples.

Abstract

The Roma and the Jews make up less than half a per cent of the population of Bosnia and Herzegovina. And yet their leaders could sue their country, successfully, at the European Court of Human Rights, by claiming that the system of reserved seats in the state Presidency and the second chamber of Parliament is monopolised by and for the three ‘constituent peoples’ (Bosniaks, Croats, and Serbs) and, thus, discriminatory towards minorities and other citizens. The 2009 ruling of the Court in Strasbourg (Sejdić and Finci v. Bosnia and Herzegovina) has shaken the very cornerstones of this unique European consociational ethnocracy and has obliged their leaders to undertake deep constitutional reforms. The three articles that compose this Special Section explore the role played by the ‘national minorities’ (such as Roma and Jews) in Bosnian politics, in particular in relation to the introduction and implementation of reserved seats for national minorities introduced in local assemblies for the 2008 municipal elections. The articles analyse the use of the system of reserved seats by national minorities, the reactions and the strategies of the ethnic parties representing the three constituent peoples and the patterns of descriptive versus substantive representation of minority interests. Addressing the questions of ‘what’, ‘why’ and ‘how’ of political representation of national minorities in a consociational context, the articles in this Special Section show that Bosnian tripartite ethnocracy hardly supports the intrusion of ‘non-constitutive’ elements in its framework and that national minorities still face significant obstacles when it comes to representation of their interests in a political system mainly concerned with the group rights of constituent peoples.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Political Science
Dewey Decimal Classification:320 Political science
Language:English
Date:2015
Deposited On:14 Jan 2016 13:33
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 19:55
Publisher:Routledge
Series Name:Ethnopolitics
ISSN:1744-9065
Additional Information:Special Section in Ethnopolitics vol. 14, no. 4 (2015)
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1080/17449057.2015.1032006
Related URLs:http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/reno20/14/4

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